More Drivers Violating Disabled Parking Law

The complex that is home to the Veterans Affairs Clinic and the El Paso County Department of Human Services is notorious for its lack of parking.

We watched the area last week and in matter of minutes found two vehicles parked without the required disabled license plate or placard displayed on the dash or rear-view mirror.

On one side of the county building the handicap parking places were full and the front spot was occupied by a car without any handicap signs, which in Colorado Springs is punishable by a $100 ticket.

One woman said, "Don't take a picture of it."

She raced out to the car, unlocked the door, and took a handicap notice from her sun visor and moved it to the dashboard. That's where it is supposed to be displayed.

I told her, "We're just doing a story about people parking where they're not supposed to."

She obviously didn't want to talk and neither did another man on the other side of the building, who was sitting in his car in a disabled spot with the engine running.

I asked him, "Do you have a placard or a sticker?"

He said, "No, I'm just waiting for somebody coming out right now."

I continued, "Okay, but do you know you're parked in a disabled parking place?"

He said, "Yeah, but I'm just picking up someone right now."

I added, "But if there's someone who's handicapped, they might need this spot."

He remarked, "I already knew that; I'm just waiting for someone real quick, sorry, could you stop filming, please?"

One and a half minutes later, he moved to another spot in the parking lot.

We talked to folks at the Colorado Springs Independence Center, where the goal is to empower those with disabilities. One person we spoke with told us, "I did confront somebody once and they told me to f-off." Another said, "I think it's disrespectful."

Pat Berney often brings her 28-year-old son, Joe to the Friday lunch bunch at the center. Pat says, "If they'd just realize there are reasons for this."

She says without designated disabled parking, they'd have a tough time getting around. Her biggest gripe: people who park too close to them and make it hard for her to get Joe in and out without scraping their car.

Phil Hall, a disabled veteran, is a volunteer with the Colorado Springs Police Department's Handicap Parking Enforcement Unit. He says, "It upsets me quite a bit when a handicapped person has to park two or three rows away and walk past a car that's not handicapped."

Right now Phil and another volunteer write up about 30 tickets a month. He says Colorado law is crystal clear unless you get a placard or plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles, illegally parking in a disabled spot can cost you a $100 ticket.

Phil says the word's out. Most people know the Springs Police Department is short-staffed and no longer able to actively patrol private and public parking lots for violators. He said, "They know they won't write them as often and so they do violate more often."

But four new volunteers have undergone training and will soon be added to the ranks. That means violators may have a tougher time getting away with breaking the law.

The Springs police department says it's always looking for volunteers.
If you're interested in helping catch disabled parking violators, check out the link below this story.

Another piece of good news is that The El Paso County Human Services Department will be moving to its new location, at the Intel building on Garden of the Gods Road in January. County officials say that should eliminate the parking problem.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by SpringsLinda Location: Colorado Springs, CO. on Jan 16, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    This is another story I wish you would re-air. I'm handicapped and have to haul O2 tanks with me, everywhere I go. Not too easy I'll tell you!! I remember they said there would be more people writing tickets but I haven't seen any and almost everytime I go shopping, it takes forever to find a spot and there's people siitting in thier cars with the engine running because it's cold and someone has a nahdicapped decal but they're sitting IN the car. Why not park elsewhere and drive up when his wife comes out?? No, instead I have to walk past him dragging my oxygen and his sitting there with the window cracked letting his cigarette smoke out of the car. I used to smoke but that isn't why I'm on o2. But back then I never minded walking an extra 1/2 dozen spots back. Now?!? Isn't there something we can do?? I remember in the story they said not to take a picture of the lisense tag, why not? They take pictures of cars that go through red lights. Help please?!?
  • by Earl Location: C. Springs on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:26 AM
    The answer is simple, catch a violator and give them a handicap. Then they will begin to understand.
  • by M Location: Falcon on Dec 10, 2010 at 07:32 AM
    I wear oxygen for a lung disease not related to smoking. The O2 tank is heavy and I use handicapped parking legally. A lot of times there is no handicapped parking so I deal with it.I know a person that attends Denver Bronco football games season tickets her husband is handicapped yet he seldom goes to the game. She takes a non handicapped friend and uses the handicapped parking because it is easier to and available since all she needs to do is show them the sticker.You would think she would understand from her husband's perspective but she thinks it is her "right". They need higher fines and more enforcement in a lot of places.
  • by Anonymous Location: Ellicot on Dec 10, 2010 at 05:49 AM
    The other problem about the parking is children driving mom and dads vehicle, hopping out of the handicapped marked car and making a full sprint to the store. I wont even apply for a plate although as a disabled vet I probably qualify. Just figure I am still able even though its painful. When I cant I might give in.
  • by Amra Location: Woodland Park on Dec 10, 2010 at 05:25 AM
    I'm disabled, and I've had to argue with people, and even parked one kid in until the police got there. And I say "kid" because he couldn't have been more than 19 or 20. And wasn't disabled. Just thought the world owed him the front row. Get a lot of "just running in for a minute"...
  • by Purple Rain on Dec 9, 2010 at 10:23 PM
    They walked to their car, they walked into the store, they walked around in the store. These 'handicaps' need no special treatment. Aren't they always complaining about how they don't want to be treated special? smh
  • by Jack on Dec 9, 2010 at 09:51 PM
    and those with disable stickers that don't even need them is more pathetic!
  • by Dave Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 9, 2010 at 09:19 PM
    Thank you for this story. I have been blocked in a disabled parking spot by a delivery driver. They were stocking a new liquor store that was about to open. I ended up stuck for 4 hours. The police told me that they don’t respond to parking complaints anymore. The Code Enforcement is not even ensuring that projects are built to city code as far as ADA access. Bordello Brothers @ 5490 Powers Center Pt. Colorado Springs, CO 80920-7166 Actually took out one of their ADA spaces and parked a fire truck there that blocked the ramp for MONTHS. We could not get any help on it. Finally after many calls and visits and more than 3 months they moved it after being given a warning. If blocking a space for months is not a ticket able offense…WHAT IS!!! The whole Center Point Development was not built according to plan as far as ADA, but the city will not do anything about it. Thank you for your story...it made me feel not so alone.
  • by Michele Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 9, 2010 at 09:17 PM
    I think the fine needs to be raised to $1000 for violators. It would be more of a deterrent for those who illegally park in the spots. My husband is a disabled vet with a broken neck and back. Luckily he can still walk, but he can't walk the long distances across some of these parking lots due to other people's ignorance. Instead of parking in the Handicapped spots, those people waiting for a passenger could even just wait behind some of the parked vehicles. I have done this myself and just moved when someone in one of the spots I was blocking needed out/in. People need to stop just thinking about themselves and work with rules that were put into place to help others.
  • by C. on Dec 9, 2010 at 09:07 PM
    Lazy morons that probably need exercise! Some day if they become handicapped somewhere besides in the head, they might find out how other people feel.
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