Fools at the wheel

What is a car that makes its driver become a fool?

The arrogance of the owner of a flashy car, occupying two parking spaces.

A motorcar has always been more than a mode of transport.

Sure, some see it as but a means to get from A to B. The jalopy allows for one to drop the kids off at school. Or for the student to get to class, or to run an errand. To pick up groceries.

For others owning a motorcar is a dream come true, especially those who all their life relied on walking, or getting by on pedal power.

We have Henry Ford to thank for mass producing the motorcar – even if he said you could have it in any colour as long as it’s black. Clearly now there are too many on our roads, belching greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully not for much longer.

A vintage car remains a beauty.

But for many the car represents status. A symbol of their wealth and power.

The ultimate status and wealth symbols: a private airplane and a red Ferrari.

And here’s the rub: once behind the wheel, some drivers become anarchic fools.

Not only do they speed, they also drive recklessly.

Then they park:

Not like all other mere mortals but straddling two parking bays. “Check my wheels but stay clear.” Go figure…

That’s fine.

But the absolute worst: an able-bodied person purposefully driving into the parking bay reserved for drivers relying on a wheelchair. These spaces are generally situated close to a mall entrance or business, for those less mobile than most – not for some fool to seize.

Don’t dare confront them.

“I’m in a rush; just picking up something, it’ll be quick.” Usually, it isn’t.

Callous, mean, arrogant, selfish.

Mostly, however, you’ll be the target of extreme verbal abuse – or physical threat.

Who are these fools?

Sign at a parking space for the disabled or wheelchair users.

Often the stinking rich, flashy, egotistic. Or a diplomat, or a pompous government type, a minister even.

Worse still, in many instances, the police and the military. In uniform, they are above the law: it’s their right to do as they wish. In their mind…!

Try admonishing them, at your peril. See the hand go to the pistol in the holster on the hip…

Still, the law is clear:

Section 137 of the Road Traffic Act 29 of 1989 empowers municipalities to provide special parking spaces for people with prescribed disabilities or persons who transport them. These spaces are clearly and visibly marked, often a painted sign on the ground. Such spaces are usually wider for the ease of manoeuvring a wheelchair.

Numerous organisations, like the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and the National Council of & for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) work hard to educate the public on behalf of their members; to use these spaces for their specific purpose. Support them.

Interestingly, QASA is adamant that if you don’t use a wheelchair, then don’t use the wheelchair parking facilities.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


4 Responses

  1. They are hateful people, those abled-bodied but mentally retarded imbecilic halfwits who park in bays reserved for the physically disabled. I have, on occasion, had a breakdown in my vehicle. Unfortunately it does sometimes happen right in front of such a bay. It can take hours to repair. Unfortunate, not for me, but for the poor idiot who parked there illegally. Or I have got a centre’s security vehicle to park so close to it that one couldn’t get an undersized toothpick between the vehicles.
    My favourite however is that when I see the able-bodied approach the vehicle I start yelling at the top of my voice. “It’s a miracle. Praise the Lord. When he parked here he was a cripple. Now he can walk. Halleluja. Praise the Lord. It’s a miracle” repeatedly.

  2. Yes, I’ve had the same experience when confronting the able-bodied turkeys who insist on using these special parking bays.
    I’d like to share two thoughts with you Sam.
    Years ago I owned Porsches. Not the flash kind you show but the older vehicles before the prices rose to astronomical levels. The doors of all coupes are wider than most. So one tends to park further away (but not in two bays) if possible.
    And so whatever reason, uncaring people will park as close as possible to one’s pride and joy, then open their car doors onto your car. Of course, a ‘sorry’ doesn’t do the trick when a small dent in the metalwork will cost many thousands to repair.
    My approach, if I ever went to a shopping mall or similar in my special car, was to park in the furthest possible spot and walk 50 – 60m to the mall entrance. Doing so would leave at least 50 parking spaces between you and the closest vehicle. When you return, you will be surrounded by other cars. But the big gap of open spaces will remain intact. I could never understand why people would consistently follow this pattern of behaviour. The best bet is not to take a special vehicle to mall parking. Ever.
    And my final thought about special vehicles. In most instances I’ve bought when prices of these vehicles has bottomed out. I used to ride the car for three years and then sell, in virtually every instance getting far more than what I paid for the vehicle. With special sports car insurance, the overall cost of if far lower than it is for an everyday vehicle. But that’s another story.

    1. Make no mistake, Blake – I also like cars. Yes, a dent in the door is not made right with ‘sorry’ – and that goes for even my 12 year old Honda. You have the right attitude: walk the 50 or more metres if you’re able to. It is healthy exercise – and your car is cared for. My gripe is the attitude of these guys who are able-bodied and seemingly so self-centred they couldn’t care less for the handicapped.

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