You Oughtta Park in Pictures

YOU OUGHTTA PARK IN PICTURES Do you like to park illegally in handicapped spaces? Have you always wanted to appear in a commercial? If you work it right, Wednesday could be your lucky day! Richard Connelly reports that a video crew from the city’s municipal channel plans to follow parking-enforcement officers around Houston tomorrow as they “stake out some of the handicapped spaces that are frequently used illegally.” The channel plans to use footage from the first parking scofflaw they find in a new public service announcement, warning people — that’s right — not to park in designated handicapped spaces illegally. And you could be featured! Special bonus: You’ll also be the first-ever recipient of the new increased fine they’re handing out for this little parking technique. It’s now $500, up from $205, effective today. [Hair Balls] Photo: Flickr user dswagner

26 Comment

  • PLEASE tell me that photo was staged.


  • given the current budget crisis, i completely support the fine increase. i may have broken a lot of rules in my life, but *that* is not one of them.

  • I say raise the fines to $1000. Healthy people that park in handicap spots are pathetic and show no respect for their fellow man. If it’s a Hummer, bump the fine to $2000 for good measure.

  • Granted, parking in the handi-capable spot is a well known $500 no-no…but what about parking in the stripped general no parking area?? In the case of the above pictured Hummer, they’re along side a HC spot (ie wheelchair ramp loading/unloading area)…but there are several out there that are not adjacent to a HC area nor are they red-painted fire lane areas (the other big parking no-no).

  • Too many handicap spaces in this town already…

  • what ever happened to equal opportunity parking?

  • At the same time, how about a crack down on the number of unnecessary handicap tags being handed out. It’s equally ridiculous that so many perfectly able-bodied individuals are able to acquire handicap tags and park at will in these spots. And yes, I know you can’t always tell what someone’s ailment might be by the way they walk from the car. But I would guess that at least 25% of the handicap tags in Houston are being used without proper need.

  • I got news for you: handicapped people, they don’t even want to park there! They wanna be
    treated just like anybody else! That’s why, those spaces are always empty.

  • Handicapped parking needs to go away. Most people who have it don’t need it. What do these people do once they get out of their cars. I don’t see them on walkers. I see them walking around the mall and doing every activity that any able bodied person can do. Maybe 5% of people need a sticker. Once of the biggest scams around.

  • This picture says everything I think about the type of person who drives a hummer. Thank you for reinforcing my stereotype.

  • I hate to generalize (but love to stereotype), but my guess is that the morons who voted down the revenue generating red light cameras are the ones who are going to be the lucky recipients of the newly increased fine for parking in handicap spots. Jack up the fine on illegally parking in handicap spots! Makes perfect sense to me. Next the city ought to jack up the fine on red-light runners and people who speed in school zones. We’ve got to make up the lost revenue somehow, and I think targeting the lowest of the low only makes cents (pun intended)!

  • Please be careful about assuming that it is easy to tell who needs a handicap permit or not – my father’s heart condition would not be seen at a glance, but he definitely had problems with mobility. Likewise, my friend with a spinal cord injury endures a lot of pointed looks and inappropriate questions, even though she has a marked limp.

  • Last time I checked, being fat and lazy is not a handicap, quit giving parking passes to these idiots that don’t really need them!

  • Yes. I know many people in my mother’s circle of friends who have legitimate doctor-issued handicap placards. There are a whole host of medical issues (heart, lungs, hips, knees, feet) that deeply affect stamina and mobility. If you see a gray-haired lady or gent walking spryly to the door from a handicap space you can be fairly confident they wouldn’t walk three times farther with equal spryness. True story: my wife got a ticket for parking in a handicap space at Walgreens. She took it to court because she was sure she didn’t do it. She even took photos of the parking lot to prove there wasn’t a marked handicap space where she parked. Turned out she was at a different Walgreens than we normally use, about two miles down the road, and even though the buildings and parking lots were basically identical, the handicap spaces were in totally different locations between the two stores. The signs were on the wall, it turned out, at the store where she got the ticket, not on poles like they often are.

  • Wow we’re all so quick to judge.. Nothing like the new jaguar, with a handicap hanger, and watching them buy groceries at river oaks Kroger with a lone star card.. Morbid obesity is not a handicap it’s your lifestyle, state sponsored sloth.. Kudos.

  • And please, recognize that sometimes the passenger is the one with a disability. I drive a disabled relative often. If I let her out at one door to a store, then drive the car around to another door, her anticipated exit spot, & park in a handicapped spot there for easy exit, then go in to meet her in the store, I get dirty looks. But the lookers don’t know the whole story.

    I do agree that WAY too many tags are out there. Keep giving tickets – those jerks are “bird nests on the ground” as far as fine money is concerned.

  • Agreed that the misuse of handicapped parking is out of control. I remember a local TV news story (Wayne Dolcefino maybe?) that exposed several City of Houston employees that had illegally received handicapped permits through their ‘connections’ at the DOT without meeting any requirements. What baffles me is why my own mother, who has congestive heart failure supported by documentation from her doctors, has been denied a permit three times. She finally gave up. But it’s not just the bogus permits that are so appalling, it’s the blatant use of those spaces without a permit….the obnoxiously self-absorbed “I-don’t-give-a-crap-about- anyone-but-myself” syndrome.

  • I quit going to lunch with my co-worker because she insisted on parking in a handicap space using her mother’s plackard wherever we went. Her reasoning? “I paid for it.”

  • Having had SEVERAL & severe broken bones that limited my mobility, as well as being single and living alone, I have experienced the frustration of someone parking in the HC spot who doesn’t appear to need it while attempting to do my own ‘necessary’ shopping. AND, it was no easy task to make a trip to the TxDot office to get my temporary HC tag. But, what I find frustrating is why there are so many HC parking spots in the small parking lot at the Tennis Center @ Memorial Park. Are there that many HC persons either running or playing tennis? Hummm…

  • @TangyJoe: I know someone whose husband walks with a prosthetic leg and he won’t use his HC permit but his able-bodied wife does, primarily for the reason you state – they paid for it. I felt so guilty the first time she pulled that stunt I didn’t want to get out of the car. Now, if we go anywhere, I drive. She’s even offered to bring her HC hanging tag with her but I decline.

  • The fine should a percentage worth of the vehicle doing the illeagal parking. That would stop a lot of offenders. HA!

  • Ellie Mae,
    The total number of accessible parking spaces required is based on the total number of spaces provided (1 per 25 for the first 100, then a decreasing ratio).
    I often have people ask why their Big Box Store has all of this unused accessible parking. The answer is simple, they have unused accessible parking because they have unused parking spaces. Nobody ever asks why Big Box Store has hundreds of empty parking spaces on the edge of the horizon, they are only concerned about the spaces close to the front door.
    My guess is that the number of accessible spaces at the Tennis Center is based on all of the parking provided in that lot plus the spaces along Memorial Loop Drive.

    My grandmother would park in the accessible space to go for a walk in the mall to get exercise.

  • Too many handicapped spaces, too many non-handicapped people using them. I think it’s a nice idea in general, but the h-cap parking situation needs an overhaul. Unfortunately, much like the flawed speed limit system, as long as the cops are making money, we’re pretty much stuck with it.

  • Why raise from $200 to $500? Why not to $1,000? Or how about $10,000? Or how about the government just seizes the car of the offender and sells to help with the budget shortfall. Or better yet, seize the persons home.
    The state shouldn’t be in the business of setting fine amounts based on anything to do with the budget.
    This makes me sick. And no, I don’t park in HC spots. In fact, I typically just grab the first spot I see and walk.

  • Cody,

    If you don’t like it, buy all the the handicap spaces and then you can pick the fine amounts!

  • do the crime pay the fine