Dear Mahatma: As you suggested, I reported online this perpetrator abusing two handicapped spaces at one time. What actions take place following my report? -- Sandy
Dear Sandy: For those who came in late, the Department of Finance and Administration has an online page on which people can report folks who should not, but do, park in a handicapped space.
That page is at this Web address: https://portal.dfa.arkansas.gov/MisuseParking.
Also please note that miscreants parking in these spots inflame passions. To reduce the inflammation, we are compelled to add this from the page:
"Complaint must be based on fact rather than suspicion. Please remember not all disabilities are apparent, nor does every individual with a disability use a mobility device such as a cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair. Never confront any person you think may be abusing the program. If the situation requires immediate attention, please contact your local police department."
Phew. Now that passions have been quenched, or something like that, let's proceed to provide the answer as given by Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the finance department.
First thing, Hardin said, is the Department of Finance and Administration runs the vehicle plate to make sure there actually isn't a permit associated with it. (We could understand, based on our own mental capabilities, someone with a rearview mirror placard forgetting to put it up. Just saying.)
Once misuse is confirmed, a letter is sent to the vehicle's owner explaining the complaint, and keeping the complainant anonymous. The letter tells the vehicle owner that he's not getting a ticket, but the agency will make local law enforcement officials aware. Because, Hardin said, there are cases in which the same driver parks illegally in the same space almost daily.
We now directly quote Hardin's response:
"When this reporting tool is mentioned by media, we always see a spike in complaints filed. (I'm sure we will if you mention it in your column, which is great.)"
By this we think he means our column is great, not that the mentioning is great. Being modest, we'll take either.
Let's take a look at the photo Sandy sent along. It shows a red, late model Ford F-150 parked halfway into one handicapped space and taking up about half the diagonal white lines in an adjacent space. As everyone knows, those lines provide room for wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Do not, please, park on those diagonal white lines.
Our informant, the sharp-eyed Sandy, tells us this happened on Chenal Parkway in Little Rock.
We will not publish the license plate, because we don't know further details, such as whether or not this driver does indeed have a placard. But it occurs to us that these complaints to the Department of Finance and Administration would include a license plate, and we could request each complaint for, oh, the past six months.
And then put in this column the details including license plate numbers.
That would constitute a public shaming. Is that cool, or crass?
Metro on 01/26/2019
Print Headline: For shame, ye scofflaws; eyes are out