It will only take me a couple of minutes. I’ll be in and out so fast that no one will even notice if I park in this handicapped space…
People do notice, believe me.
I’ve received several emails, and judging by the comments on the online story, many people are as concerned about the problem as I am.
In addition to the day or so spent out with the Handicap Parking Enforcement Specialists (HPES) in
Most of the offenders cited either weren’t displaying a placard, or were displaying expired placards. One vehicle owner went so far as to place a bible next to their expired placard, hoping it would inspire mercy from any parking enforcement officer that noticed. It didn’t.
Most of the civilian officers are handicapped themselves and they know how desperately the people who use those spots need them.
It isn’t a convenience like it is for the people who abuse the system, it’s a necessity.
I received an email from a gentleman who wrote to tell me about how an injury left him in severe pain and unable to walk for some time. All too often he found the reserved spaces illegally taken.
“Every step I took hurt. The inability to reach the front door of a restaurant or drug store without additional and very painful effort is something you will long remember.”
One of the enforcement specialists, Lois Jackson, told me that she wishes she could walk normally and without pain. But what a remarkable woman she is.
I also think it is apropos to point out that the HPES civilian enforcement officers are out there to lighten the load of the police force.
I fielded many complaints about the Oklahoma City police, so I think it is important to make the point that the HPES program (like others in Midwest City, for example) writes the majority of the handicapped parking and fire lane citations in the city.
Be your own advocate, and if you see an infraction, call HPES or the city Action Center to report it.
And if you’re not handicapped, don’t take away one person’s necessity for your convenience.
If you’re handicapped, don’t loan your placard out to others. If you’re a business owner, make sure your in compliance with the law.