This post will go way outside my usual blogging!
I don't believe I have EVER felt so frustrated and even betrayed by those sworn to protect the citizens of their community, city, and state!
Is this a "disability" issue?
Is this a "parking" issue?
Is this a "private" issue?
Is this "none of my business" type of issue?
Honestly, I do not feel I am out of line or being too "something" in this matter; yet I have no clear idea how to proceed now.
This is what it says in this particular section of the application for a Disabled Parking Permit:
Misuse of DIS ID permit
► Any person who sells or lends a DIS ID
permit to someone who is not authorized
by law to use it may be fined up to $300
and may have the permit confiscated.
► Any person who fraudulently obtains,
makes, alters, reproduces or duplicates a
DIS ID permit may be fined up to $500.
► Operating a motor vehicle when a DIS ID
permit is hanging from the rearview mirror is
a safety hazard and creates an obstruction
to a driver’s clear view through the front
windshield. Violators may be fined up to $100.
► WisDOT may cancel a DIS ID permit that was
issued as a result of fraud, error or improper use.
(I don't think this violates any copyrights - the application is a public document available in many places in our states and at this website: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/d
Seems very clear to me! (what about you?)
Well, what's not so clear is who exactly is going to see to it that such fines, cancellations, or other actions are enforced in any way?
State employees say it's "law enforcement" and local law enforcement says it's "state" !!!
From what I've discovered if anyone is able to turn in an application with a valid health care practitioner's signature they get the permit.
If anyone has a permit they get the HC parking.
If they have the permit and for whatever reason their health has improved enough to not qualify for it; well, they have a valid permit so they can use it anyway.
If a citizen sees anyone misusing this permit; there is no entity that can verify the validity of the permit.
The only time a fine is imposed is when the permit is not present while using a HC parking spot OR when someone presents a fake permit.
What constitutes a fake permit? Certainly not a permit issued by the state with appropriate signatures. No, a fake permit is one NOT issued by the state but created so it "looks" like one the state issues.
Why does this frustrate me? Why am I feeling betrayed?
The betrayal part is shorter to explain. We expect that when our government makes laws and puts up signs everywhere warning people of the consequences of violating said laws that said government actually has something in place to enforce such laws in a timely manner. When they don't, to me it feels like they are betraying the very trust I put in them to do what they say they will do. (make sense?)
The frustration part is longer - and harder -
harder because it reminds me so vividly of things I cannot do now, things out of my control to completely reverse, things that I did at one do easily!
The type of disability that affects me keeps me from even being able to work to support myself and my family. As a single parent there's no one else to lean on - it's all on me. Not being capable of that ... well, ahem, not going there right now. :) moving on...
I have mobility issues. Those issues earned a Permanent Disabled Parking Permit over a decade ago (even at that I must submit a questionnaire (different & more extensive than the application) filled out and signed by my primary doctor every 5 years). I make use of one or two canes and an electric scooter to help get around. I don't have the means yet to get anything on my car to transport my scooter so when I'm out and about I just use my cane(s) for most things or I don't get out.
A few months ago we moved from a house (where I walked about 20 steps to get to the car) to an apartment (where the closest parking spot is 97 steps away from my door). When we moved in here the management created another HC spot (that one that's closest to me) in the nearest parking lot. Doing so did not cost them 2 spots, they simply put the HC spot next to a fire zone (no parking) that many people tend to ignore anyway.
Just to help you see the whole picture here; the 2 HC spots already here take the space of 3 by having a no-parking zone between them and were part of the original design. Until I came here HC parking was not an issue. The 2 residents that use them have permanent permits too.
Now, since sometime in January, we have a 4th HC permit using this parking lot. This 4th one is temporary, ending in July. The owner, prior to getting this permit, would often park (long term, not just a few minutes) in either the fire zone or the HC spot. He usually parked in that spot prior to management changing it to HC. He has 2 vehicles. He makes a point to have another person use whichever vehicle he isn't leaving in, to park in the HC spot and then moved the Permit (hanging placard) to that vehicle. He then leaves in the other - apparently not needing HC parking anywhere else.
When he first got the permit he was using crutches for a few days and had those "walking boots" (stiff sole, fabric upper that's adjustable with velcro, to use when a foot is injured) on both feet for maybe a week or week and a half. That was well over a month ago, closer to two actually. Recently I have seen him nearly run from the far end of the parking lot where he had to park his 2nd vehicle one rainy day, all the way to his apartment! More than once! And other residents here have seen him too - doing all sorts of things that clearly show whatever the original reason for the temporary permit, it is no longer applicable!
Apartment management says they can't do anything.
Local law enforcement says they can't do anything.
State DOT DMV Special Permits says they can't do anything.
Shouldn't SOMEBODY be able to do something about this fraudulent use or misuse of such a permit?
I'm not a vengeful person. I'm not someone who is super hyper-vigilant about sticking to the law, the rules, etc. But it's blatant misuse in the eyes of every other resident here, and several think we should DO something about it. Report him! They are afraid. He's a big, burly sort of guy and everything about his manner & dress tells others to be afraid. My girls are even worried for our well-being if he should find out or believe that I was the one who turned him in! Still, isn't reporting him the right thing to do?