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

Granny Vandal On The Run

29 Jun 2011When Lorraine Palmer picked her disabled granddaughter up from school to take her for a trip to the shops one afternoon in early June, she definitely did not expect what was in store for her when she returned to her car.

Lorraine and her seven year old granddaughter Hayley went to Stanhope Village Shopping Centre for afternoon tea. Lorraine got Hayley out of the car, which was parked in a disabled parking space, and put her in her wheelchair, and they entered the shopping centre, this was around 3:15pm on Monday 6th June 2011.

They were inside the shopping centre for just over an hour, but when Lorraine and Hayley returned to their car at around 4:30pm, all four panels of Lorraine's white 4WD had been ‘keyed' and she found a note on her windscreen reading: “A__hole parking in disable spot”.

Lorraine was understandably upset about this and looked to see if the responsible vandal was in sight, but no one was around. She had unfortunately forgotten to display Hayley's disabled parking permit on the cars windscreen on this occasion, therefore, whoever defaced Lorraine's car, mistakenly assumed that the owner of the car was not authorised to occupy a disabled car space.

Lorraine's Daughter, Sharon, decided to take a visit to the shopping centre, where her mother's car was parked, she noticed CCTV cameras facing the car space. After notifying police and the shopping centre's management, Sharon was able to view the video footage, which showed an elderly lady, who appeared to be in her 70's, hovering around Lorraine's car, then she proceeded to approach all sides of the car.

When Lorraine and Hayley returned to their car, the elderly woman can be seen waiting nearby in her car, watching as Lorraine pushed her disabled granddaughter out of the shopping centre and to the car before getting in. As it became apparent to the old lady that Lorraine and Hayley were returning to the vandalized car, the elderly woman drove away and out of sight of the security footage.

The alleged vandal is described as being in her 70's, with white hair and driving a small white car with yellow numberplates. Police have been contacted but are unable to pursue the crime without knowing the identity of the elderly woman. If anyone has any information, please contact me and I will put you in contact with the local police station that are involved in the case.

Lorraine's daughter, Sharon, just wants the old lady to pay, literally, for the damage she's done to her mother's car. She doesn't feel that it's fair for her parents to have to fork out thousands of dollars for something that should never have happened.

This is a terrible story, I personally know the family involved, and just can't believe that this could happen to such lovely people. If you'd like to read an article about this incident that appeared in the Blacktown Advocate newspaper, click here: http

I've had my fair share of encounters with people unlawfully parking in disabled spots. I've been very tempted at times to abuse the people who have taken my space, and sometimes have abused them, or left notes or made complaints to managers ect. And I've also been abused for parking in disabled spaces, until they see my wheelchair, then they are just embarrassed and slink away.

Once I did a Google search for how to ‘penalize' these types of people, and saw an excellent article which suggested to take a bright red lipstick and write “I park in handicapped spaces” on the rear window of their car. The lipstick is hard to get off without soap and water, therefore the perpetrator will be shamed all the way to the car wash.

A friend of mine did this for me once, as I was too scared to do it myself, but it was quite funny, we never did see what happened when the person returned to their car, but I bet they don't park in disabled spaces anymore!

Another great tip I've used is to go to your local council and ask them for these bright orange signs which read “BEING LAZY IS NOT A DISABILITY” and “RUNNING LATE IS NOT A DISABILITY”. They are free and are great to chuck under people's windscreen wipers or in their driver's side window, for them to see on their arrival back to their car.

I once witnessed a man in a pathology car take up the last disabled space in a doctor's surgery car park, therefore, I had to park on the other side of the car park. When I wheeled myself to the car space, I told him he couldn't park there and his response was that he does it all the time because he's only there for five minutes, I told him that the amount of time he's there doesn't matter and that I had to park far away because he used that space for five minutes, he then shut his car door and drove away. So I wrote a letter to the pathology company he worked for and to the doctor's surgery, I got a reply advising that he will be spoken to, now he doesn't park there anymore...

Parking signs available from councils

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Previous Comments

Lollie hair from Sydney aus posted on 29 Jun 2011
Hey I saw one of those signs at the rta the other day and just thought it was some sort or motivational or demotivational sign. I think it's also important to remember that just because someone doesn't look disabled on the outside, doesn't mean that they are not disabled. I think people just need to be happy and remember it's just a parking spot. Yes it's inconveinient but that's a part of life and sometimes we all just have a hard day and have to go a little further. Don't let te small stuff get us down. But seriously shame to the old bat keying a car! I had my car keyed twice and I was parked in my own designated spot at work. Some people just need to learn to keep their hands to themselves .

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