Readers React: It’s cruel to fight handicap parking abuse by taking away disabled placards

A handicap placard hangs in a vehicle parked in Sacramento on April 18, 2017.
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

To the editor: For every expert who wants to pick and choose who among disabled people are truly worthy of handicap placards, there is a person who didn’t ask to have a stroke, heart disease or serious balance issues. (“L.A. quadruples the fine for disabled-placard fraud, but will it help?” April 21)

Who are parking experts like UCLA professors Donald Shoup and Fernando Torres Gil to ask us to give up our access to handicap spots to the more “worthy”? Why not lobby to convert electric-vehicle charging spots to spaces for drivers with disabilities? Why not advocate for more officers and security guards to check placard numbers to make sure they are used by their registered owners?

Unless people like the two UCLA professors are willing to give me a ride from my front door to the doctor’s office or grocery store, they should seek to make the system work for the benefit of all those who are disabled.

Julie T. Byers, Arcadia



To the editor: An important item was left out of this article, and it is the fact that many people obtain disabled placards who don’t really qualify for one.

I am not talking about those people with real disabilities who “look normal,” but people with no disability who persuade a physician to give a reason why they need a placard. As a doctor, I was unpopular for often refusing such requests, but it should be no different than refusing to provide antibiotics for viral illness.

Come to my neighborhood and see how many disabled placards there are on the street used by able-bodied people.

Dr. Deborah R. Ishida, Beverly Hills


To the editor: I am a senior who requires a handicap placard. It really bothers me when I see cars parked in handicap spots not displaying a placard. I feel helpless in these situations, as there is no one around for me to report this infraction.

I have left notes on the windshields of these cars telling the drivers that they should look elsewhere for a spot to park. These scofflaws force me to park farther away than I should have to.

What has happened to having consideration for others? Don’t people care about that anymore?

Nina Mintzer, Reseda


To the editor: Willful violators of disabled parking rules irritate me. One way for governments to push back is to marshal public-spirited smartphone camera buffs to take pictures and post them on an app for reporting such violations.

My city has an app that allows resident to quickly report violators of watering rules. Similarly, an app for reporting parking scofflaws, with pictures and documentation of the violations, should also be available to increase awareness that fellow citizens can and will speak up. It might just make the placard abusers think twice.

Juan Matute, Claremont

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