In-Transit Plate in The Handicap spot with a CBD stick.
January 10, 2020 10:18 PM   Subscribe

Was the action I took worth the minor public commotion.

Today, I went to the busy corner store and some guy is parked in the handicap spot (only one) with an In-Transit license plate enjoying what was most likely a CBD stick. I said aloud what the header said, and tapped the handicap sign. He follows me into store, small commotion ensues, mind- your- own- business. I am, the public's. He left. But remained in the car...the clerk told him to leave the parking lot.

Was it worth it? Because I very, very rarely get mad in public.
posted by clavdivs to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This internet stranger is proud of you.
posted by Dashy at 10:26 PM on January 10, 2020 [17 favorites]


Was it worth it?

Yes. Well played.
posted by flabdablet at 10:33 PM on January 10, 2020 [12 favorites]


On behalf of everyone who has a placard for the spot because of pain/fatigue/balance issues that mean they can't walk very far[1], thank you.

[1] In my city, permits are only available to people who can walk less than 60 meters before stopping.
posted by Murderbot at 10:36 PM on January 10, 2020 [10 favorites]


Ya know, even if you have an uncomfortable confrontation with someone by speaking up for something you believe in, you're still making yourself heard.
posted by bendy at 11:49 PM on January 10, 2020 [18 favorites]


Best answer: You bet it was worth it — I'm proud of you.

All hail, Clavdivs!

But it's not worth getting hurt over. That In-Transit plate looks like a scam he's working too, and there may not be much this dude wouldn't do if he thought he could get away with it, so if you see him again with the same plates, I want you to write down the number unobtrusively and call it in: no confrontation.
posted by jamjam at 12:41 AM on January 11, 2020 [6 favorites]


"I am, the public's."

So worth it.
posted by fullerine at 12:44 AM on January 11, 2020 [11 favorites]


Bravo!
posted by Cranberry at 12:58 AM on January 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


yes
posted by mwhybark at 1:04 AM on January 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


I hope this is not a derail but even after clicking on the link you provided I do not understand what the plate was. Was he a car seller?
posted by M. at 1:45 AM on January 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


Absolutely worth it. This, coming from someone who has a permanent placard in NJ. I actually had the opportunity to confront a woman who had the balls to take the only spot to pick up her kid at day camp (same one my kids went to). Except I was completely non-weight bearing on crutches. I looked at her and said, "REALLY??" She told me to get over myself.

Finally one other parent said something to her. There were about fifteen other parents that were afraid to open their mouths. Even the counselors were afraid of her.

Now I just block people in and wait for them to try to get out of the spot after I take pictures as evidence for the police. It makes it more fun and interesting. Especially when I have a wheelchair in the back seat.
posted by dancinglamb at 2:35 AM on January 11, 2020 [17 favorites]


Yes, but...

The way the guy reacted is strong evidence that he was an entitled jerk and would be willing to use a disabled spot for his own benefit without being disabled. However disabled people do get called out for faking disabled all the time. There are handicapped people who use those spots, even when they don't have a handicapped plate. It is ableist to presume anyone who has an invisible disability is not disabled. There are scenarios that could have led to someone with a disability driving a vehicle with an in-transit plate, such as if it was a loaner from the dealer because his vehicle with a disabled plate was temporarily off the road.

You're in a no win situation with jerks who like to take advantage and cheat the system. If you confront them you both get a nasty scene and the discomfort of having, in the back of your head, some awareness that you might be making a genuine disabled person's life worse instead of making other disabled persons' lives better. Bottom line, he didn't have a plate so it was on him to justify where he parked, and was appropriate for you to politely check on it.

The fact that he looked like he was using a CBD stick adds to the possibility that he was disabled, because lots of people deal with chronic pain by taking repeated small doses of cannabis. If cannabis use makes you uncomfortable it may have tipped you over towards not giving him the benefit of the doubt. And yet, as long as you were polite you did nothing wrong, because not speaking up is what encourages the predatory to keep trying to prey on others. Lots of people use CBD recreationally, so it's not an indicator. In your area the indicator is the plate and he didn't have one.

Having someone attack you is misery. It can take ages to calm down again. And it can be very hard to process your emotions around an event until you have regained your equilibrium. So it is possible that a flood of stress hormones from being attacked is making it difficult for you to stop thinking or feeling shouldna-done-that, shouldna-done-that, but really yes, you should have. You put yourself out there in a decent way and took an emotional punch as a result. The fact that the clerk backed you up on this is good evidence that without a handicapped plate he is required to justify parking in that spot.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:37 AM on January 11, 2020 [21 favorites]


I don’t understand the point that someone “might have an invisible disability” even without a plate. If you’re really disabled you are entitled to prove that with a license plate or a temporary placard. If you are disabled and don’t have the plate, the burden should be on you to explain the situation to anyone who rightly raises a question.

Without the right plate he isn’t allowed to park in that spot. “Justification” ad hoc is not mentioned in the law. We have this system so rights can be extended and enforced selectively. You can get a plate with an invisible disability if it’s really an impediment.

It is the opposite of civil liberties to return to a guessing game and an expectation of charity. There’s a law. It’s clear. Follow it or expect people to call it out as OP did, in what I will say is a perfectly justified and righteous scenario.
posted by spitbull at 5:46 AM on January 11, 2020 [29 favorites]


You can get a plate with an invisible disability if it’s really an impediment.

Not if you don’t have health insurance/can’t afford to see a doctor. Even then, many people can afford a doctor, but are not believed about their pain/fatigue, especially if they’re women. I am not going to comment on whether or not this was right because it’s a complicated situation, but there are tons of people who need a placard who can’t get them.
posted by brook horse at 7:15 AM on January 11, 2020 [16 favorites]



I don’t understand the point that someone “might have an invisible disability” even without a plate. If you’re really disabled you are entitled to prove that with a license plate or a temporary placard. If you are disabled and don’t have the plate, the burden should be on you to explain the situation to anyone who rightly raises a question.


Quoting spitbull

In an ideal world, yes. I had a friend on crutches who parked in the disabled parking spots and got ticketed. By the time he could get around enough to get the temporary disabled card he no longer needed one. He was told he could challenge the tickets simply by showing up in court on his crutches and it would automatically be thrown out, but getting around on crutches hurt so much he opted to pay the tickets over going to court.

And there are enough burdens on disabled people without making them prove it. Often the last thing they want to do is prove it because the fact of their disability is profoundly distressing to them. You REALLY do not want to trigger a disabled person into tearing off their own artificial leg and throwing it at you, but this has happened. Disabled people often do not have enough spoons to deal well with this kind of demand from random strangers. It's bad enough that most of them have to go through hours and months of bureaucratic hoops to get suitable accommodations in the first place.

This is why the most important thing to do when challenging people is to do it in a kind way with an open mind. You don't know why this person is parking there. There is evidence to indicate that they may be doing something that harms disabled people. There are a lot of people who do just that with glee so challenging him is not only correct but actually necessary. But assuming malice is unwarranted without considerably more information than you have.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:18 AM on January 11, 2020 [13 favorites]


No, I don't think it was worth it. He might have been a person well enough to drive occasionally as casual work but with any of a range of invisible disabilities.

I'm disabled. I don't have a placard anymore, though I'm eligible, because I've not been well enough in the ten years since we moved to this state to deal with their process of getting an ID issued, which is required before they'll give you a placard.
posted by jocelmeow at 7:28 AM on January 11, 2020 [10 favorites]


Yes. Humans are social, and even though Entitled Asshole acted tough, public disapproval is an effective disciplinary tool. Bravo.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 AM on January 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


Making accessibility a legal, political and civic issue at this point in time necessitates, unfortunately for the folks who might have an invisible disability with no placard, the broader public agreement to reserve those parking spots for people with placards. Perhaps those with an invisible (or visible) disability and no means to get an official placard could put a handmade placard in their windshield, which would at least not likely suggest the more typical oblivious or entitled able-bodied person.
(ALso might I add here: my disabled friends are constantly confronted by unauthorized cars parking in the blue diagonal -lined spot that is always next to the actual handicap spot, which means they can't open the door and get their wheelchair out of the van, which effectively means parking in the reserved space next to the handicap spot is just as bad as parking in the disabled spot.)
posted by nantucket at 10:03 AM on January 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


i'll say you and most people will think worth the commotion and i can't argue with that since it achieved your goal eventually, but i don't know that you did a good or helpful or justified thing
posted by gaybobbie at 10:41 AM on January 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: hope this is not a derail but even after clicking on the link you provided I do not understand what the plate was. Was he a car seller?
posted by M.

Not at all. The plate is used by auction houses to Porter a vehicle to a location, sales lot or garage, for the most. He was an auction guy, I saw the blue streaks auction houses use for marking on windshields. The potential cannabis...I'd more ticked if he had an ice cream cone. With an In-Transit plate, unless you have a something that indicates handicap parking status, it's a civil infraction.

Great discussion and I think it was worth it.
posted by clavdivs at 11:38 AM on January 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Follow-up and jamjam, thanks and your right. I saw him a week later, he was coming and I was going. The clerk remembered and we both gave that, ya, let's leave him be look and it was good, I don't think he recognized me but I take a diplomatic approach because, folks in Flint, mi can get... violent. Great advice and a great conversation.
posted by clavdivs at 7:24 PM on February 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


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