Riding around in the parking lot of Walmart is a frustrating thing. I get more annoyed by the minute. My parents and I ride around the entire lot, 15 whole minutes spent just going around in circles. The time that could be spent shopping for what we need is spent just in the parking lot.
All I see are people, who walk perfectly, parking in the handicap parking spots.
And it isn't just me who goes through this. This happens way more times than it should. Disabled people everywhere have to spend half their time out just riding around the parking lot.
We have to look for a parking spot far from wherever we are going just because people who don't have disabilities want to park closer to the door in the handicap spots.
Those spots are supposed to be for people with a disability that hinders their mobility. That means people who use wheelchairs, crutches, walkers or some other device that allows them to move around.
There are also people with conditions that aren't visible. Conditions like heart disease, lung disease, shingles and other conditions that make walking long distances a big problem. These people all need the handicap spot because it is the closest to their destination.
Being lazy is not a valid excuse for people to use the handicap parking.
It's simple — if you can walk without any assistance and for long distances, then use the regular parking spot. And, just because you may be running late to wherever you are going, it is still not a valid excuse to use those spots.
I've seen many people just use the parking spot as a place to wait while their passenger goes inside the store and shops. The fact that people feel they can take a parking spot away from someone who really needs it to just sit in their cars and wait is beyond insensitive.
I've also seen people misusing their handicap placard. They may have a spouse, child, mom, dad or some other loved one who does have the placard because they have a legitimate disability.
The trouble is the placard gets used even when the person with disabilities is not in the car.
I am in a wheelchair, which means I have a handicap placard. Since I don't drive on my own yet, my parents drive me around in my van. That means they have the handicap placard all the time.
But, do you think they use it when I am not in the car? No, they do not. They do the responsible thing and park in a regular spot.
The rules are simple.
People who feel that they need to park in the disabled parking need to go to their physicians and have them sign the appropriate documentation. Anyone who doesn't follow these rules and decide to take the parking spot, they definitely deserve for the cops to be called or to be towed.
The issue isn't that we want things "easy" for us; the handicap spot was built around our needs. The spots have an extra space next to them with white diagonal lines on it. This spot gives us extra room to get situated in any way we need to.
For me, my van has a ramp that I use to get in and out of the car with my wheelchair. If I don't have the extra space for my ramp, I literally cannot get in or out of my van.
Many people put their wheelchairs or walkers in the trunk of their cars. That means they need extra space so that their companions can get their wheelchairs and set them up so that they can get out of the car.
Again, it is very simple. If you can walk without needing help and for long distances, then there is no reason to take the handicap spot away from someone who really needs it.