Do they REALLY need disabled parking?

Posted at 11:02 AM, Jul 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-10 00:26:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Be honest. When you go shopping and see someone walking to their car parked in a spot designated for someone with disabilities - do you wonder if that person really needed the spot? Would you ever speak up and question them?

Last year 32 Virginians were convicted of misusing disabled placards in their car or truck. The year before 28 drivers were found guilty.

The most common offenses were parking in a space reserved for a person with disabilities without displaying a disabled placard and letting someone without a disability use a disabled placard or license plate.

Experts with the disAbility Law Center of Virginia said it is not safe to assume that just because someone "looks" healthy - they really are healthy.

"We do hear that they will sometimes be harassed by folks," disAbility Law Center of Virginia Executive Director Colleen Miller said. "They'll be getting out of their car and someone will say 'What are you doing with that? Why are you in that spot?'"

It is behavior some drivers with disabilities hope to expose and work to change.

"People need to be mindful  that things exist that they don't understand," Caity Gladstone said. Gladstone said she has been given dirty looks or heard rude comments when she uses a disabled parking spot.

Caity Gladstone

***Editor's note. Caity Gladstone was incorrectly identified as Colleen Miller within the package.