In CXPRESS of February 26, Differently-abled Awareness Campaign founder Rita Hardaker reported on the continued abuse of disabled parking bays by able-bodied drivers, and invited feedback from affected readers in order to address the situation
I have spent many months being completely bedridden. Now I am able to get around with the help of a walker or in a wheelchair - praise God!
On the occasions that I visit town for errands or to see doctors, the special parking spaces are mostly full, sadly often occupied by able-bodied people - including policemen in official vehicles.
I tried to take a photo, but was not quick enough. It is really frustrating, as walking with the walker is very tiring and one can’t walk far at all.
I have just had pins inserted into both femurs to stabilise and prevent them from breaking. But one did break indeed.
Walking is a challenge I gratefully accept, but it is essential that able-bodied people do not occupy bays for the disabled. I did not choose to be disabled, but this is my life’s journey. This is my experience.
Michelle Minnaar, Plett
I salute you with gratitude for addressing the misuse of disabled parking bays. I am disabled and need to walk with crutches - but then only for very short distances.
Where possible, I make use of a travel scooter in wheelchair-friendly shopping centres. For this reason, I absolutely depend upon the comfort of dedicated disabled parking bays.
I have a permit issued by the traffic authorities, for which I had to pay a fee, and also the medical support supplied by my doctor, as required in the relevant application form.
Members of the ‘run in quickly brigade’ are the most common of the disregardful, causing immense frustration to the disabled. I also have had cases where the perpetrator disrespectfully ignore me when enquiring whether they have an official permit.
Then there are those who just display a wheelchair sign, without the visible presence of an official permit.
Mrs Hardaker, I fully support you in any actions you might contemplate and would love to join you when you do manage to obtain an audience with our traffic authorities.
Daan Freislich, Plett