Traffic > Decree

Hefty fines proposed for illegal users of PWD parking

Senator Leila de Lima wants the space just for the handicapped

It's time to penalize douchebags who don't have an iota of respect for the International Symbol of Access. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

We don’t know about you, but we often see able-bodied motorists parking their car in slots reserved for persons with disabilities (or PWDs). Usually, this happens when the parking facility is already full and said abusers do not want to wait or park in a remote area that will require them to walk a few hundred paces. You know they have no business taking a PWD spot because when they get out of the vehicle, they perambulate like healthy people do and even laugh at the transgression they’ve just pulled off.

When security guards or other car owners call their attention, they turn aggressive or even violent, prepared to start a fight for a petty issue that is their fault to begin with. Yes, they see that International Symbol of Access (aka the wheelchair symbol), and yes, they know what it means. But they don’t care, and they believe others shouldn’t, too.

Ah, such is the douchebaggery in our midst. What can be done about these assholes?

If you're healthy and can walk properly, find another parking slot for the love of all things sacred. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Thank heavens for Senator Leila de Lima, who has just filed a bill proposing pretty heavy fines for morons who keep appropriating PWD parking for themselves. Senate Bill No. 1622 seeks to “set the guidelines on who can utilize such exclusive areas, and penalize those who obstruct their accessibility routes.”

In the senator’s words:

“Without clear penalties for the unauthorized use and obstruction of such designated spaces, social media abound with posts of drivers who brazenly and wantonly disregard PWD parking spaces. Examples of these are non-handicapped drivers occupying the space provided for the disabled and people blatantly obstructing access ramps for disabled, wheelchair-bound persons despite the obvious International Symbol of Access. Handicapped persons are part of Philippine society. Thus, the State shall give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of handicapped persons and their integration into the mainstream of society.”

The bill proposes to require public establishments to provide at least one PWD slot for every 25 parking spaces, and that this slot should be clearly marked and display the minimum penalty as prescribed by law. Only those with a government-issued PWD sign can use this parking slot.

They see the wheelchair symbol, and they know what it means. But they don’t care, and they believe others shouldn’t, too

And what are the proposed penalties?

  • For parking in a PWD slot without a government-issued PWD sign – P10,000 to P40,000
  • For lending a government-issued PWD sign to a non-PWD person – P10,000 to P40,000
  • For obstructing a PWD access point – P10,000 to P40,000
  • For falsifying or fraudulently obtaining a PWD sign – P40,000 to P200,000
  • For failing to provide PWD parking (on the part of public establishments) – P200,000

To be clear, which individuals will be considered PWDs, according to the bill?

Under the proposed measure, handicapped persons are those who have impaired mobility, those who are ambulant-disabled, those who are wheelchair-bound, those who have a condition rendering them similarly disabled as certified by a physician, or those with any ailment that prohibits them from being able to walk a distance of 200ft without stopping to rest.

Damn. We really hope this bill makes it past useless lawmakers who just waste our taxes. About effing time.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.