Here’s an incident that happened some time ago when I saw a man get out of a van (parked in a disabled person’s spot) outside the local Homebase store.

He was dressed in all his work gear and had no obvious physical impediment. I watched him walk – just to make sure (remember I’m a physio and studying people’s gaits is one of my favourite pastimes) and went up to him and asked him if he realised  that he had parked in a disabled spot, marked very obviously with a wheelchair logo. He looked rather taken aback that someone had approached him on the subject and after a moment’s hesitation said that he had come to pick someone up who was a blue badge holder.

So I let him go in to the shop…but… I followed him (no I’m not usually a stalker).

As he walked around the shop, I followed. As he went up and down each aisle, I followed and after he had been in the shop for about 15 minutes I went up to him again and asked him if he had found the person who he had come to pick up. He looked very embarrassed and didn’t know what to say apart from some mumbled excuses. As I walked away, I remember saying something along the lines of hoping that he never had the opportunity in the future of having to use a disabled spot ‘officially’.

At least he wasn’t a real in your face jerk about it like some of the people I have confronted – like the gamblers going in to the bookmakers so that they can make a quick bet. Or the dudes in the massive 4×4 at the service station on the motorway. I can count and continue counting the times that I have approached people on this subject. I have received very different reactions and excuses.

I even resorted printing a whole bunch of fliers that say: ‘Stupidity is not a disability. Park elsewhere!’ and put them in to my car ready to stick on people’s windscreens. Thankfully, I haven’t had the opportunity to use one yet. So the moral of this post is:

Choose your parking space wisely  – or you may see a mad woman following you around!

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