So in the scheme of things getting a good parking spot is not really important. There is just so much going on around us that who parks where is just not on the top of our list.
However, in South Florida law enforcement has been cracking down on drivers who misuse disabled parking tags or parking places.
Authorities ticketed 865 drivers in Palm Beach and Broward counties in 2010 for illegally parking in handicapped spaces. That is a lot of tickets and it is not cheap when you are caught.
These tickets were not just for parking in a disabled spot with no disabled permit. There were tickets for individuals who used a friends or relatives parking permit. Most people do not know that the disabled permit is tied to a driver’s license or Florida ID.
Police and other law enforcement will routinely ask to see proof that the disabled person is present. Just having a parking permit is not enough – the disabled person has to be present.
Now that makes sense to most people, but not to all.
My experience has been that law enforcement in Ocala and Marion County are diligent in watching for those who misuse a disabled parking permit. On one occasion I observed an officer writing a ticket in a big box store parking lot. After the ticket recipient left, I engage him in conversation. My son was with me and we were parked in the adjacent spot.
He informed me that they pick parking lots at random and will occasionally monitor and verify disabled permits. Glad to hear it.
I have also had a personal experience with a permit. My son and I attended a charity breakfast and he had left his permit at home. I have his expired permit in my glove box and decided to use it.
Low and behold after breakfast we had a ticket. A trip to the local police station with the proper updated and current parking permit and the ticket was cancelled.
However, I was glad that our officers are out there watching for those who misuse disabled permits. Our disabled citizens and disabled drivers need those parking places.
Even though who parks where is not really life threatening in the great scheme of things. However, it is important to those who have mobility issues.
Keep squeaking those wheels.