By guest columnist Brett Eastburn.
Brett Eastburn is many things – an artist, an athlete, a husband, a comedian – but one thing he is not is a quitter. Though born with no arms or legs, Brett tours the world speaking to millions of individuals and even occasionally writes to our readers on our blog reminding us all that each of us is gifted. Latest on Brett’s mind is handicap parking.
“I have been driving two accessible vehicles for the last 25 years. Personally, I have driven more than half a million miles. As a motivational speaker and comedian, I travel all over the country. But as many of you already know, parking can sometimes be interesting. Even though there may be van accessible parking spots in a given lot, I have found them to be ignored many, many times.
Pro Tip: Bring your own range road cone when using a handicap parking space. It’s the same kind that the road construction sites use and is beneficial to put out to keep other vehicles from parking next to you.
Pro Tip: Find an end parking spot where there are no parking spots next to you or go to a corner and park at a diagonal and take up two parking spots. This may put you at risk for a ticket or make me out to be the jerk, but I have never been given one and some officers, if you catch them in time and explain your situation, may just ask you to not do that again. For big events like fairs, concerts, Fourth of July, etc., sometimes parking attendants or volunteers will instruct you to park too far forward. When pulling into parking, always be sure to ask where the best-handicap\disabled parking spots are.
Pro Tip: If you are a power chair user, consider leaving up-close accessible spots for users of manual chairs. It would be lovely to have some handicap/disabled van accessible parking toward the middle or the back of the parking lot as well. My chair does 11 miles an hour and it does not take much energy to hold the joystick so I really do not need to be in the front row. The freedom to park in other rows could help everyone. The airports are a perfect example: every row offers striped parking.”
Unfortunately, there are people everywhere that will continue to abuse handicap parking. Hopefully, blogs like this and the users of the spots themselves will influence culture further and eradicate the problem of non-handicap users occupying the spaces. BraunAbility created the Save My Spot campaign specifically for this problem. Not only does parking in the spaces themselves cause problems, but parking in the striped loading zones traps chair users either inside their vehicle or outside.
We do our best at BraunAbility to provide automotive mobility to everyone. What we do helps our customers regain a sense of freedom and independence. But when others disrespect handicap parking spaces, that freedom is suddenly taken away. We are arming our blog followers with tools to spread awareness…stay tuned next week for your chance to get free items!