Los Angeles needs to start cracking down more stringently on handicap car plaque abusers. The problem is running rampant on our city streets and it’s wrong. We need to stop this childish behavior dead in its tracks.
Recently while walking in West Los Angeles, I saw a fit 40-ish man display a blue handicap tag on his silver Audi’s rear-view mirror and park in a handicapped space. He got out of his car in a two-piece tan suit and sprinted across the street into a three-story office building. No doubt late for a meeting. This gentleman didn’t reach into his wallet and pay for parking like 99 percent of the rest of us around town.
This poor behavior occurred in an area near a library, a post office and medical office buildings. Certainly, this individual had little concern for the elderly and disabled who really need handicap spots to park in for ease of access to these facilities. And who knows how long his business meeting was going to last to the detriment of the handicapped who have serious needs for reserved spaces?
About an hour later on Wilshire Boulevard, I saw a two-door blue Lexus SC 430 parked, posting a handicap sign in front of retail establishments and restaurants. I sincerely doubt many disabled persons are driving around Los Angeles in fancy two-door sports cars. That’s a 1,000 to one shot, as I see it.
Today, there’s a sense of entitlement among some of L.A.’s citizens, and handicap violators clearly illustrate the degeneration. The disregard to park legally comes at the expense of our injured, handicapped and elderly. The abuse on L.A.’s streets and boulevards also takes parking revenue away from the city and hurts local businesses that rely on consumer traffic.
Many people today are driving around town with handicap tags who shouldn’t have them. Are the tags still being used by those cured of old leg injuries from basketball, football or skiing accidents? Are placards being handed down by ailing grandparents or parents to undeserving family members? Are the blue signs fraudulently claimed and obtained? Are disabled tags being bid and sold on eBay?
Los Angeles needs to start imposing much stiffer penalties to curtail blue permit abuses. Let’s impose points on driving records, just like what’s done for running red lights and speeding. Let’s fine offenders a meaningful $499 for each blue violation. Let’s have violators do 100 hours of community service in orange jumpsuits along L.A.’s roadsides raking leaves and clearing debris.
Let’s even go so far as suspending drivers’ licenses for six or 12 months for multiple offenses – similar to when drivers are caught and issued DUIs. It’s time for abusers to start acting more appropriately toward those less fortunate. Let’s put a stop to this childish behavior and shenanigans. Our ailing and elderly deserve greater respect and kindness.
Ted Lux has been involved in real estate lending in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years. He is author of the investment book “Exposing the Wheel Spin on Wall Street.”