Opinion

Shame on California for not letting disabled out-of-state visitors park in handicap spaces

To the editor: As the father of a disabled daughter who is confined to a wheelchair, I was heartened by the article on a stakeout by DMV officers of handicap parking spots to catch people misusing placards. Too many people display placards that aren’t theirs.

I was shocked, however, to see the photo of a family with a young lady in a wheelchair being cited for parking in a handicap space while using an out-of-state placard. Notwithstanding the difficulty of getting a visitor placard, the spirit of the law is clearly to allow disabled people to park in such spaces. While it is not always evident if someone is indeed disabled, the fact that the young lady was in a wheelchair should be de facto evidence of a disability.

Shame on that DMV officer for enforcing the letter and not the spirit of the law.

Michael Carey, Westlake Village

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To the editor: Although I applaud the DMV crackdown on handicap parking violators, I am surprised to read that California does not honor the parking placards issued by other states. This policy is in sharp contrast with my experience in France.

My wife carries her California-issued handicap placard when we travel. The parking availability in the hill villages around Nice, France, in the fall is as scarce as that in our malls at Christmastime. A policeman was standing near the open handicap spaces, and the rest of the parking lot was full.

When I asked if we could use her California placard, he said, “Certainly, just like you were at home.” One more reason we really like the French.

Paul D. Wilson, Camarillo

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To the editor: I think it’s great that the DMV is ticketing people who misuse the handicap parking spots. But can someone explain to me why we, as taxpayers, pay for the parking meters of someone with a handicap placard?

I believe all handicapped people should have proximity parking to where they need to go, and we need more spaces for disabled individuals. But if someone sprains his knee while skiing and then parks his Mercedes at a public meter to have lunch at Musso and Frank, why do we have to pay for it?

Current law says all handicap placard holders get a free ride on the meters. I don’t see the logic in that.

Change the law.

Steve Paskay, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Kudos to the DMV. As a longtime user of handicap parking, I often find that no spaces are available at my local stores. Instead, I park in the general lot diagonally in two adjacent spaces so I can deploy my wheelchair ramp.

Ironically, I am sometimes challenged by other parkers for taking two spaces.

John McElrath, Whittier

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To the editor: So, the DMV cracks down on able-bodied people who use placards to park in spaces that disabled people actually need. When confronted, the daughter of one scofflaw offers her only defense, which is to accuse the nearby reporters of portraying our current president as “bad.”

Finally, here is a peek into the mind of a President Trump supporter.

Mark Reed, Los Angeles

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