Friday, July 13, 2007

300 dollars

Finally someone gets a ticket for wrongly parking in a disabled spot.

Wait, that's my car.

I can see the blue badge from the store! How could a cop not see it close up? Suddenly I became all 'law and order'. I got a clerk from the grocery store to come and look and see the blue badge, see it was plainly displayed before we even opened the car door. Having a witnesses name and address in my pocket emboldened me. I pictured myself riding into court in my wheelchair with a picture of Justice - you know that blind chick with the weigh scales - on a picket sign above me.

I was going to be the ultimate crip. How dare they give me a ticket for parking legally when they let buffoons park there all the time, no - ticket the cripple.

I was mad at a world gone mad.

The ticket was only fifteen minutes old, the ink had not grown cold.

Calling the number on the bottom of the ticket, I blasted out an indignant harummph (except with lots more words) only to be told that I was talking to reception and needed to talk to the supervisor on duty. The superviser got a quicker, watered down version - I'm disabled I can't keep that energy level up over long periods. She tried to explain to me some possible reasons for getting the ticket, I wouldn't listen. I'm a wheelchair user, I'd been in the store shopping in my wheelchair, I have a legitimate blue badge displayed on the dash. She said that she'd contact the officer who wrote the ticket and see if she could come back to the ... forgive me but I have to say it ... scene of the crime.

She arrived 10 minutes later fully prepared for a 'disgruntled citizen'. I was sitting in the car pouting. I had wanted to get out and wait in my wheelchair and have her drive by me as I glared at her. Joe said that was over the top. He takes the fun out of everything. So when she arrived, I waved her over to my side of the car. She approached Joe instead as he was in the drivers seat. Before she could get a word out I said, "Unless you want me to think that you are one of those people who won't speak directly to a person with a disability, I'd come over and talk with me. This is about me, my wheelchair and my blue badge. Joe is just the driver."

She came over and launched into the fact that she saw the blue badge but it had slipped down and the date was not visible so she didn't know if it was current. Oh, God, I'm going to get stuck with a $300 ticket. I immediately pointed to the back of the car at my wheelchair and said, "That's my chair, I'm disabled," I grabbed the blue badge, "this is my permit, it's current. I can't believe the number of times I see people inappropriately park here, get off scott free and the CRIPPLED GUY GETS THE TICKET." I glared at Joe, I shoulda been in the wheelchair, dammit.

She smiled. If she hadn't been a ticket-giving loathsome banshee of a woman, she might have been pretty. "I guess that kind of isn't fair is it?" She then told me that she would void the ticket and it would all be fine. Then she goes all 'show and tell' on me and pulls out another blue badge and told me that just before seeing my car, she had stopped someone who was parking with a blue badge that was years old and hadn't been valid for a long time. She said that her vigilance was for my benefit as a disabled person.

So our blue badge is prominently displayed on the dash of the car.

Because Angus is so tough that they even ticket cripples for parking in the disabled spots.

How tough is that!?


Belinda said...

We've had it happen to our agency's vans twice in the past year that I know of. Both times the badge was in the van but not positioned correctly. I couldn't understand why that was an issue but the date thing does make sense.

In one case we managed to bargain down to paying half of the ticket. In the other case the house manager fought it in court and we didn't have to pay, but it still cost his time!

It is frustrating indeed but I'm glad your ticketer was a reasonable person and you didn't have to pay a cent--for her sake! :)

Sally said...

It happened to me too over here, well actually in another country - Welsh Wales - same thing; the ticket issuer stating he could not see the date of the blue badge. In my defence against the parking fine, written calmly in icy cold language, I pointed out that the ticket issuer would see from the current year's road fund licence displayed alongside, that I am (extinct, disbarred crikey my brain is tired, what's the word?)... exempt ...(that's the one!) by being disabled. But it took my time and effort to do this, all caused by a ticket issuer ....

Your 'dancing' a JIG post has inspired me to quote you over at mine, I hope that is ok with you.

Unknown said...

Dave you just absolutely crack me up! And yes you should have been outside on the curb in your chair...... ROTFL!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Ditto on the story telling - and I love the angry wrath since I have been trying to find a solution to deal with bus drivers who pick up abled bodies and leave the wheelchair person (me!) at the side of the road. At least she returned to the "Scene of the crime."

Also I think it says something about where you live that you can actually GET a wheelchair spot. Here we have jags and Beemers cruising the lot to get that super-wide no chance of paint dinging spot (and probably enough money that $300 is worth it to them).

Thanks for the post - we enjoyed it....and then enjoyed it again.