While no one on the Autoblog staff requires handicapped parking, we have friends and family who do. Seeing perfectly able-bodied people stroll from their illegally-parked cars into a building is infuriating.

But, fearing road rage reprisal, we don't dare confront these folks. Two reporters for the Detroit Free Press, however, took a video camera into the field and hunted down several offenders. Some illegally parked drivers claimed ignorance until the blue sign and blue paint were pointed out. Some acted offended, others offered lame excuses, and with the help of a parking enforcement officer, at least one was ticketed.

And before you comment, yes, we know some people aren't visibly handicapped yet still need to reduce their walk from car to store. One of the people confronted in the video turned out to be driving her blind husband around. Others, though, admitted their hang-tag belonged to someone else. In Detroit, that'll get you a $500 ticket for fraud instead of just a $100 ticket for parking in a handicapped spot without permission.

The image above is from the video and shows a man illegally using his boss's handicapped parking tag. Turns out, his boss, and owner of the car, is Eugene Applebaum, who is disabled and who has served on the board of a multiple sclerosis group.

Check out the video below for the full story.



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  • 99 Comments
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      When my ex-wife and I were expecting our first child, she insisted i parking in a hadicap zone, just because she was six months pregnant. I said just because she was pregnant did'nt mean she was privelaged to use the park, but she got mad with me for saying that. So I parked in a regular space and left her in the car and went into the store to grab a few items. When I came out, I saw she had moved the car into the handicap space, and she was sitting behind the wheel and crying. The police had seen her when she moved the car and she had told them she needed the spot because she was pregnant. Apparently the officer didn't buy that claim and gave her a ticket. And the judge insisited that she pay the fine instead of me since she was caught in the act, and that really set her off. I still remind her of it whenver she wants to start an argument with me.
      Kumar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who cares about taking a handicap spot when you can just idle in the fire zone and get in the way of both cars and people trying to walk into a store! /s
      Boo Boo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let them park close to the building. More spots for me in tbe back of the lot where there are less morons to ding up my car
      icon149
      • 2 Years Ago
      My favorite are people who are considered disabled, and can park in a handicapped spot because they can't walk very far due to obesity... what kind of doctor gives a fat person a pass to avoid exercise.
      ademarshall@me.com
      • 2 Years Ago
      At least I learned something from this... that people may need to park across two spaces so they can use a wheelchair.
        j.reed
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ademarshall@me.com
        Probably because some able bodied person had taken the "Van Accessible" spots which would have been perfect for this use.
      j.reed
      • 2 Years Ago
      I worked at Target for many years doing surveillance which included the parking lot. I saw a lot of handicap parkers, and something like 9 out of 10 appeared to be able bodied and were able to browse the store and select purchases unaided. The worst is when the majority of the spots (or all) are taken and someone who is actually handicapped is unable to use them. My grandmother is no longer able bodied and relies on my mother. They came to visit me one day and she had to drop her off in the fire lane and go park because all the spots were taken. Often "Van Accessible" spots were taken, leaving ramp/lift vans no where to park and allow their lifts to function. Even the genius parallel van spots at Walmarts are always the first taken, and by some tiny hatchback.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @j.reed
        there's also mental disability - some could have one, others could be just idiots...
      GreenN_Gold
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drive my dad on errands every weekend. He is in a wheel chair, but we never used the handicap spots. I'm there to push his wheel chair, so we can park as far away as we need to. The biggest trick is finding a spot where nobody will block the passenger door, because I need to open it fully in order to transfer him in and out of the car. That usually means parking in the back of the lot.
        caporter157
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreenN_Gold
        You mention that the biggest trick is finding a spot that nobody will block the passenger door. That is the reason that handicap spots are wider than regular parking spots so you are defeating the purpose. And in case you wondering, yes I am a person with a physical disability and I use a walker.
          GreenN_Gold
          • 2 Years Ago
          @caporter157
          I understand that, which is why I leave the spot open for someone who may need it more than we do. I don't mind the walk, and I seem to always find empty space at the back of the lot. And trust me when I say that parking in those wide handicap spots is NO guarantee someone still won't block your door. The way people can park so poorly often baffles me. I get better odds parking in the North 40 all by my lonesome.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      I recently parked in a handicapped spot for the first time in my life. The car had a placard and the placard owner wasn't in the car with me. I felt a bit odd doing it but the point was that it be close for him when he returned to the car. I suppose I broke the letter of the law but not the spirit.
        Dean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @turbomonkey2k
        You were putting the car in a space for someone who needed it. Nothing to feel weird about. I'm sure the person you did it for was very appreciative.
      usa1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, you could put this up with any social hand out like food banks, food stamps, welfare, medicaid, disability, etc. The people that scam the system do it at the expense of the people who really need the help. More importantly, the general public has less support for the programs because they think or know that there is a lot of fraud in the system. Anyone proposing more serious reviews or fraud detection is considered heartless when really they just want to make sure the people that need the service really get the service.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some people go to great lengths to obtain the disabled sign, I saw a BBC documentary with secretly filmed footage where authorities were issuing disabled permits for a little 'fee'. In central and eastern Europe, the problem is endemic. Now, imagine what kind of person would bribe officials just to park a few meters closer to the mall entrance. By the way, in Croatia, they had a little message for the idiots who park illegally in disabled spaces. "You have my space. Do you want my disability?"
      - v o c t u s -
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why does he remind me of Jim Gaffigan?
      RampantFury
      • 2 Years Ago
      People do that all the time where i work. Ive had to ask numerous people to move.
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