Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Caught In The Act: When Celebrities Steal Handicapped Spaces

9 Mar 2012Last weekend, my husband, Todd, and I, decided to take an impromptu trip to the movies, after some friends we were entertaining for the day, left our house. At my local shopping centre, there are four disabled parking spaces close to the entrance of the theatre. Usually, I get to park in one of these spots probably about four out of five times, so it’s not too bad.

When we arrived on Saturday night however, it was around 9pm, so feeling pretty confident there would be at least one available handicapped space, I headed straight for my regular spots, not surprisingly, there were two out of the four spaces available.

As I drove up to park my car, there were two cars idly sitting, with the drivers inside them, blocking access to both spaces. I beeped my horn, to let them know that they were blocking the handicapped spaces, and I wanted to use one. Instead of moving along and letting me park my car, the driver in the car in front of us got out of his car, and began to walk towards me as if I was in the wrong and yelled ‘what?’, I motioned for him to move his car so I could park. He then got back in his car and did nothing. I beeped my horn again, he just sat there. So Todd got out of the car and walked up to the first car that was blocking the entrance, and asked the female driver if she could move. As she began to drive forward, out of the way, the man in the car behind her started yelling at Todd. Todd explained to the man that his wife was in a wheelchair, and needed to get into the disabled parking spaces. The man yelled out ‘who gives a $h!t’ and drove forward, out of the way.

I parked my car into one of the disabled spaces and waited for Todd to get my chair out of the boot. The other man pulled into the parking row opposite where we were parked and got out looking pretty mad, I got a bit nervous that he was going to try and start a fight with Todd, but, we think, as he saw Todd get my wheelchair out of the car, he may have felt bad, because he just walked straight past us, and into the entrance of the movie theatre.

Personally, I think the best way to make someone feel guilty for parking in/blocking a disabled space, is to just let them see you, in all your disabled glory, getting out of your car. Try and look extra disabled too, by struggling and making out like your life is really hard. It’ll hopefully make them think twice before parking in a disabled parking space again. Or, you could try telling them off really loud, so other people hear, and they get embarrassed.

Unfortunately, police don’t seem to take disabled parking violations too seriously, and people get away with this crime more often than not. But, for celebrities who break the law when there are no cops around, at least we have the trusty paparazzi to fight for our rights.

You would think that by constantly being in the public eye, celebrities would take a moment to think about their actions, before taking up a disabled parking space. But you’d be wrong. Thankfully, the paps are always out and about, stalking the celebs, praying for them to do something wrong. And today, I have the photos to prove that some celebrities either have no conscience, or really just think they are better than the rest of society.

The latest celeb to get papped is Miley Cyrus, formally known as Disney’s sweetheart ‘Hannah Montana’. The tween star was seen returning to her vehicle, which was parked in a disabled spot, after attending life-saving disability related treatment, I mean, eating ice-cream. She was spotted with two friends, whilst making small talk to the cameraman who was following her, she then brazenly joked about how good her reverse parking skills were, as she pulled out of the handicapped space. Click here to see the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1JamR8JV6Y&feature=player_embedded

Next on the list is ladies man, Usher. He was allegedly busted parking his SUV into a handicapped parking space at a shopping centre, by a crazed woman, who demanded he get out of the space. When Usher refused, the woman grabbed at his jumper, and then reportedly shook up a can of beer, and began spraying it at his car, before kicking his door. The woman was heard screaming ‘you don’t belong here!’ but don’t just take my word for it, watch the video yourself. I’m pretty sure I even saw Elvis make an appearance to try and save the day - http://youtu.be/fTcIATGTz_Y

Chris Brown is no stranger to the law, especially when it comes to handicapped parking violations. He has clocked up a total of 117 tickets for illegally parking in disabled car spaces. Reports say that most of these occurred at his Los Angeles condo, where there was supposedly some confusion about what spots were assigned to him. Consequently, he managed to evade almost 100 of the fines, with some assistance from his trusty lawyer, who I’d dare say, could now retire since having Chris Brown as a client.

Other celebs who have shockingly been snapped by the paps, include; Mila Kunis who rose to fame since starring in popular sit-com, That 70’s Show, Julia Roberts, best known for her starring role in box office hit, Pretty Woman, Brittany Spears (no surprise there), so called celebrity, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, from reality TV show Jersey Shore and American Idol judge Paula Abdul.

The late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, was also notorious for parking his brand new flashy Mercedes’ in handicapped spaces at Apple campuses. He was also well known for removing his licence plates, to avoid being followed. This sometimes went against him though, when people who didn’t know whose car it was, keyed scratches down the side of it.

Celebrities are not above the law, and having photographic evidence of them unlawfully using disabled parking spaces, should be enough to fine them. If they don’t care about the money, and keep reoffending, make them volunteer for disabled people, by taking them out to run errands, so they can see how difficult it can be getting around with mobility issues.

People need to realize that disabled parking spaces don’t exist because we are lazy; they are there to make our sometimes difficult lives easier, and safer. Some cars, like mine, need a lot of room next to them, to allow enough room for a wheelchair to come down off the roof, and for others, they may need extra room at the back. These larger or wider spaces are there for a reason, and everyone needs to stop abusing them, not just celebrities.

Chris Brown's car

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