Letter: There are better ways to address handicap parking issue

Editor:  The recent letter from Bellingham, Wash. resident Cynthia Taha (Leave handicap spot for those who need it, the Times, Nov. 9) requires a response.

Her complaint is against B.C. drivers using handicap marked parking spaces.

I agree with the writer that those spaces are reserved for people who truly need to take advantage such a program.

Nowhere in her letter does she allege that “B.C. shoppers” do not have approved handicap plaques displayed.

Her swipes at B.C. shoppers, B.C. DMV, and SPARC wonders if “handicap parking stickers are handed out like Halloween candy,” then presumes to lecture on her wisdom of how things are done.

It might interest her to know that SPARC stickers or plaque applications must be accompanied by a letter from a doctor stating that the patient does indeed qualify for such a benefit.

I find her comment “if you are good enough to come across the border, you are good enough to walk” to be inane and insulting.

I, too, have spoken with people who do not display handicap identification on their vehicle, but it appears we have different approaches to the situation.

I simply ask if they are aware that they have parked in a marked handicap spot rather than coming out with guns blazing.

This can be a risky thing as those drivers responses vary greatly. The usual reply is that they were only there for a minute, to an apology, or to the tense interactions where they become very angry and abusive.

Two wrongs do not make a right, but it would seem, according to her, that it is only B.C. drivers who do such things. I would ask her if the fine people in Washington State are guilty of the same behaviour.

Every once in a while the driver has honestly forgotten to place the handicap identification in view.

It would be very hard to enforce but I would like to see police officers and bylaw officers be given the ability to ticket and fine those who abuse using handicap spots.

To “give a piece her mind” is ignorant.

Many folks appear to be perfectly healthy but may suffer from a variety of illnesses that do not manifest themselves as other sickness might.

Does she know if a person has asthma, COPD, recent surgery, or osteoarthritis or any other number of illnesses simply by making assumptions?

It is time to pull in your horns, Ms. Taha, and climb down from your high horse. I would be happy to assist you with a ladder if need be.

Rob Jones-Cook, Walnut Grove

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