Hereditary Handicapping

, , , , | Legal | November 4, 2018

(I work in a traffic court and am visiting with people to determine what they want to do on their tickets. I call the name of a defendant who has a ticket for parking in a handicap parking space. As the man approaches, I see that he is elderly and walks slowly. Usually that means he had a tag to hang from the rear-view mirror, authorizing him to park in the handicap space, but it had fallen down, or he had just failed to put it up. Those tickets can be easily dismissed if the person just shows the tag at court.)

Me: “Good morning, sir. I see you have a handicap parking ticket. Do you have a handicap tag?”

Defendant: “Yep.”

(He digs into his paperwork and begins pulling out the blue plastic hang-tag.)

Me: “Ah, did you just not have it up at the time?”

Defendant: *handing me the tag* “No, I had it up the whole time. Don’t know why they gave me a ticket.”

(This is unusual, but it only takes a quick glance at the tag to see what the problem is.)

Me: “Sir, this tag expired in 2007.”

Defendant: *very matter-of-factly* “Yep.”

Me: “Well, it’s no wonder they gave you a ticket, then.”

Defendant: “That was my father’s. It came with the car I got from him when he passed away.”

(Who knows how long he’d been parking in handicapped spaces based on his father’s tag. I asked if he had or needed one of his own, but he said it’d “be more bother” go to a doctor to get his own tag than to just pay the $500 ticket, which is what he did.)

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