There has been a lot of publicity about able-bodied motorists stealing disability car parks and only a little bit about those who are entitled to these spaces yet are accused of abusing the right to it.
A woman in Masterton was accused of ‘not looking disabled’ when she parked in a disability parking spot and showed her permit.
To be fair, the look of the permits has changed. The bright orange permit has been replaced with a more subtle green and white card. Since this change is fairly recent both cards can still be used and not many people know about change. This is causing more questioning to people who have been issued the new card.
There hasn’t been much publicity about the new cards, which is probably the reason for the confusion – I didn’t even know about the change until my old one expired and I got my new permit in the mail.
However, this issue didn’t start with the issuing of the new permits. People with subtle or invisible disabilities have always been accused of ‘not looking disabled enough’ to park there. It’s not really anybody else’s business what somebody looks like. If a person went through the rigmarole of applying for a permit, they obviously need it.
Nobody deserves to be doubted about such a personal and private matter. Nobody is under any obligation to answer your narrow-minded and self-serving questions.
There has been an increase in outrage over real abuses of the parking spaces, which is great. Energy would be better served cracking down on these scenarios rather than interrogating people who are already struggling and are just trying to go about their daily business.