Story on TV this morning. An altercation in a car park. A dad parks in a Disabled space with his son. Dad is not disabled, but son is. Invisible disability, was it hypomobility? They display all the correct documentation to be in the space.
You don’t look disabled, wades in Mr BigMouth, to the father.
What the nice people did:
- He tries to explain that they have used that particular space because of the son
- He tries to explain that the son has a Blue Badge.
- He tries to explain to the guy about the son’s disability
- When the father gets home, he tweets about the incident.
- It is subsequently picked up by media outlets, and the story broadcast, including on the Breakfast News. There are all sorts of spurious things brought into the debate – what is wrong with the child, that he also happens to be autistic (the public possibly (very possibly) has a vague understanding of autism, but not a clue about hypomobility) why that particular ailment warrants a Blue Badge, that there were other spaces in the car park, etc. etc.
What I’d have done:
- F*** Off, you ignorant *******.
I’m sorry, but in such a situation I lose my normal, suave (????), mega-composed self. I’m not going to be nice here – people will afford me my rights with good grace, or I will simply take them anyway. Good grace is optional. By any means necessary. That somebody displays a Blue Badge is the only criterion required for them to use a Disabled space.
I had to jump through hoops (or rather, to show that I couldn’t jump through hoops 🙂) to qualify for my Disability Benefit. This boy will have had to do the same. Every recipient of the benefit has to do the same. We all have to prove that we get this benefit in order to qualify for a Blue Badge. If we then subsequently park the car in a Disabled Bay, then as long as we display the badge, it is nobody else’s business. I’ve done all the explaining I am required to do already.
I apologise for the rant. I expect that by posting on here I am already preaching to the converted, and I appreciate that things might not have happened exactly the way the Dad recounted. But this post might one day be found by search engines.
There is a slight disjoint, in that the badge was issued to me, i.e. to a person, while it is actually displayed by the car. This means that the badge is transferrable, to whatever car I happen to be in. It also means that if my wife happens to be in the car on her own, then she is *not* allowed to use the badge. All of this seems exactly as it should be. So there is a chance that the aggressor might have thought that the badge was being used improperly, but, really, would one want to take that chance?
I try not to let things upset me. I don’t like it when I see people litter, throwing stuff on the ground instead of looking for a trash can to put it in. I see people parking in handicap spots all the time and there does not seem to be anything wrong with them, but I never say anything to them even though I know they should not be taking up a space that is reserved for someone that needs it more than them.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Here, if they park in disabled spots on the public highway, in the town centre, say, they will get a ticket, no ifs or buts. We have problems with private land, where meter maids don’t get involved. Most obvious in supermarket car parks. The supermarkets have signs up but tend not to police it – after all, they’re not going to risk the angst of their customers. So yes, there is a problem with policing it which is over and above any kind of allocation of permits. btw, what do you call it there? We call it Blue Badge here but I thought that is Europe-only.