If you're and able-bodied driver and ever had a fleeting thought about parking in an empty handicapped space in a crowded parking lot, you're human. If you've ever had that thought – and actually followed through on it – well, you're probably just a jerk.

In an effort to document, and perhaps shame, those drivers among us who resort to such everyday scumbaggery, two reporters from the Detroit Free Press visited various parking lots in the greater Motor City vicinity and questioned drivers who appeared to violate this basic social compact.

As you can see in the video above, some of the guilty parties immediately fess up, some offer some lame excuses and some just drive away.


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  • 490 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey, we have a whole generation of able bodied men and women parking on the welfare roles because they are too sorry to work. What's the difference? My wife and I were driving in a one way lane at a shopping center the other day. We saw someone pull out a couple of spaces closest to the store. Before we could get there a very young man turned in driving the wrong way and did a u-turn into the parking space. My wife and I are in our late sixties and had to go around and park in a very distant space. I told the *******, "Great move" when we got to the store. He said, "Thank you." At least he is a polite *******. He is from the "screw you" generation we have let our atheistic federal school system generate!
      wave11161
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have never done that nor will I ever-it is apalling.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well done! Here in CA, the fines are $250 and up, so there is a stronger deterrent for not parking in a handicapped spot. Nonetheless, I do know that there are plenty of people using the system in the same ways as some in this article. I had surgery about 26 years ago and was in a wheel chair for two months. In those days there were no big fines and people were always parked in the handicapped spots with no placards. I sometimes confronted them when they came out of the stores and most were apologetic, though some were downright rude. I am glad that things have improved here in CA, maybe there needs to be a stiffer fine in Detroit to make it less attractive to use a space that is sorely needed by someone in need.
      Lita
      • 2 Years Ago
      Put a boot on the wheel. And don't release it until the fine for illegally parking in a space meant for the handicapped is paid in full.
      LAWMANTOO
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish they would be more aggressive in Ohio. Whenever I see a violator, my stomach turns. Most of the violators have fat asses and an air of entitlement. I have started copying the placard numbers and the vehicle license plates and turn them in to the BMV. I don't know whether it does any good, but I feel better about it.
      julydoll10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sometimes the handicap police need to back down. Several years ago when my beloved 91 year old grandmother was still alive I took her out to eat to her favorite restaurant. I was 45 at the time. She did not drive but we had the portable handicap placard as various family members took her to shop, out to eat and to doctor's appointments. We arrived at our destination and this very irate man almost knocked me over as he saw me exit the car, screaming at me that I was not handicapped. I looked at him with the stare he deserved and stated " You are right but my 4'10", legally blind, 91 year old , Christian concentration camp survivor grandmother is." It was nice to see this person actually apologize and I hope I gave him a lesson by stating "next time wait and see if anyone else gets out of the car befoe you leap!!"
      danno
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well everybody does it..The typical democrat responce to anything..
      w4awm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Excellent report!
      • 2 Years Ago
      My 92 year old mother has a handicap parking sticker, but I don't think she needs one. When she gets into Walmart she walks all over that place. She does have to stop periodically because her legs starts to cramp. She does qualify for a handicap parking sticker because of her leg cramps. But she still can walk from one end of the mall to the next if she stops on the way. Her doctor says she needs to walk as much as she can. I drop her off at the door most of the time so we don't use her handicap parking sticker much. I know several people that have handicap parking stickers that should not have them. And watching people in the store there are a lot more that should not have them. Have you noticed that it is hard to find a handicap parking spot because they are full. People who might really need one don't have a space because there are so many people who don't need them, have them. I think the solution would be to have two types of handicap stickers. A red sticker with a red parking space for those that really need one who can't walk (like people in wheel chairs, etc.), and a blue one with blue parking space for those that don't really need one but apparently qualifies based on their age, small feet, broken fingers, too fat, bad cold, etc. The red spaces should be very close to the front of the store and the blue spaces should be on the outer edge of the parking lot next to the street. That way they can get the exercise they need in getting across the parking lot to the store. Next time you go to the store and you see all the handicap parking spaces full, then go inside and see if you can find a handicap person. My guess is that you want find many. Is it worst to park illegally in a handicap spot or to legally park in a handicap spot when you don't really need one? Maybe to get a blue handicap parking space one should have to take a walking test. Let's say that if a person can walk across Walmart three times in less than 10 minutes then they do not qualify for a handicap parking space.
      Johnny
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do people know who's able bodied? I look great but have a heart condition, angina, but if you looked at me I walk fine and park in handicap.
      • 2 Years Ago
      We were hit with a $500 insurance increase for my wife's Honda. Both of us have a perfect driving record with no claims ever. Shocked by this increase I went online to get some quotes for her car. The two sites I first visited were actually more expensive than our new rate, but then I found ( http://bit.ly/SaveonInsurance ) I got a quote within minutes and ended up saving over $300 on our car insurance!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a colleague whose doctor gave her a handicapped placard after a colonoscopy. Not kidding. She used it for over a month before peer pressure caused her to cave in and destroy the placard. Personally, I choose to park out in the back forty to avoid door dings, and drivers who couldn't park correctly if their lives depended on it. Plus I get a little exercise in the process. Win win!
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