Handicapped Space Violators Beware, Group Working to Expose Illegal Parkers
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- One group is taking its fight for handicapped parking to the World Wide Web.
The people operating the Web site dontparkthere.com are taking pictures of Oklahoma drivers parking illegally in handicap parking spaces and posting the pictures online. The vehicle's license plate is also included on the post.
On its page, the group says: "To some, those blue & white signs mean easy, convenient parking, but to those they're designed for, those spaces are a necessity. This blog's here to help educate people about, and maybe bring a little shame to those who abuse, handicapped parking spaces."
NEWS 9 has made several attempts to contact the owner and operator of these sites, but the group said it wishes to remain anonymous.
This is a frustration facing the Clabes family every day. That's because their daughter, Gabby Clabes, is sometimes dependent on a wheelchair or crutches.
"She was born with a congenital defect that has required several surgeries to get her to the point to where she can walk in a prosthesis," said Sandy Clabes, Gabby's mother.
Gabby's father is the police chief of Midwest City and both Brandon and Sandy Clabes said it's disheartening when they see someone parking in a place others desperately need.
"When you have to park at the back of the parking lot it becomes an issue," Sandy Clabes said.
Part of the problem may be the process in getting a handicapped permit approved. In Oklahoma, it's as simple as filling out a one-page application found on the Internet, and mailing it in.
Permits are approved at the Department of Public Safety's Handicap Division, but one woman with the agency said it's not possible to verify every doctor's signature on every application.
The woman said, "We don't have the manpower. It's a choice we just have to accept it."
But for Gabby Clabes, that's unacceptable.
"There are people who aren't handicapped parking in handicapped places, and there are other people who need them more than they do," Gabby Clabes said.