Building accessibility and parking accommodations are better than they used to be, but these are concerns that continually must be addressed.
Each of us can help the situation, however, by not abusing accommodations meant for those who need it, such as mechanized entrances and reserved parking spots.
But sometimes people abuse these accommodations when they have access to them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Hannajss witnessed her mother abusing her disabled parking spot permit, even though it wasn’t actually hers to utilize.
When she saw her mother’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have bothered to say anything.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for getting angry when my mum wouldn’t let me use MY disabled parking badge?”
The OP had a disabled parking pass.
“I 19 [female] have Cerebral Palsy, which for now at least means I’m wheelchair-bound.”
“Usually, my mum keeps my disabled parking badge in her car because it’s just easier, as I usually only go out with my parents. (I have no friends lol.)”
“However, my boyfriend and I have wanted to go to Thorpe Park (a theme park in London) for a while now.”
“In Thorpe Park, they ask you to bring a disabled parking badge in order to get an accessibility pass.”
When she needed to use it, her mother didn’t want to give it to her.
“So, yesterday evening, I asked my mum if I could have the badge for today and the following conversation ensued.”
“Mum: ‘No, I need it so I can park in London on Wednesday.'”
“Me: ‘Erm.. but it’s mine.'”
“Mum: ‘You can use something else, I need to use it.'”
“Honestly, I can’t remember most of the conversation because I got very upset, but it ended in an argument.”
“And then my mum said, ‘Are you just trying to be difficult?’ and she then left the room and instantly started crying.”
The OP had mixed feelings about the argument.
“My boyfriend gave me a hug (he had come in mid-conversation), and he said he completely understood.”
“Was I being difficult?”
“We did get the badge after speaking to my dad, but he added that I had really upset my mum.”
“Was I being difficult? AITA?
Some said the OP was absolutely right to want to use her own permit.
“NTA! And it’s also ABUSE of a disabled person! This may be hard to accept, but your mom is abusing you.” – DecentPear2496
“This is also just a morally bankrupt move. not only is she directly harming her daughter who genuinely needs the parking accommodations, but she wants the placard to take a handicap space for herself.”
“Most places have less than 10 spaces and even fewer van accessible spots, so stealing them could have a big impact on a disabled person’s mobility.” – iji-modo
“NTA. She could just tell her mother she’s going to park in disabled spots with her BF without it and when they get a ticket, they’re going to explain she has a sign but her mother won’t give it to her because she likes to use it. Or her mother could explain it to the judge when she drives her to court.” – dracoda
“It’s not just about parking. OP needs the badge to get a special pass that will let her be accommodated at the park. It could ruin her day out not to have it.”
“NTA, what sort of parent thinks their kid’s disability support is for their own benefit?” – Cyborg_Ninja_Cat
Others advised the OP to carry it on her person from now on.
“Not only is it not what the badge is for, but it is very, very illegal. If she gets caught, the badge can be rescinded due to using it without OP present.”
“OP, stop keeping the badge in your Mum’s car, and start keeping it in your handbag/wheelchair bag, to be lent out temporarily to whoever is driving you, and then they give it back to you!” – Normal-Height-8577
“My mom has a handicap placard (US). Usually, she keeps it in her bag. Whether she’s with me in the car or not, I know it is only legal for me to use it when a) she’s with me, and b) she’s getting out of the car.”
“Sometimes she’s with me but only I’m getting out for a quick run-in. I don’t park in a handicapped space then. It’s not for my own convenience.” – Redundant_fox221
“OP, get her keys, get your badge from her car, and keep it in your purse or backpack from now on. That way, it’s in every car that YOU’RE in and your mom doesn’t get used to having it when you aren’t around.”
“And tell her it’s illegal for her to use it without you and if she takes it away from you you will report her. NTA.” – usernaym44
Some also pointed out the mother could get in big trouble for this.
“I dunno the law in England, but in California, the penalty for using someone else’s handicapped plates or placard is worse than the penalty for parking in a handicapped space without plates/placard.”
“Parking in a handicapped spot without plates is an infraction punishable by a fine, but using someone else’s is a misdemeanor punishable by possible jail time.” – CyberneticPanda
“Parking wardens can fine her up to a grand and/or seize the badge so neither of you will be able to use it.”
“Sounds like your mum wants to use it to avoid the Congestion charge. Guess what: tough.”
“Enjoy your day with your boyfriend. NTA.” – Equivalent_Willow317
“Your mum is breaking the law and can and will get your blue badge revoked if she continues to abuse it. You are not just NTA – mum’s breaking the law and fucking over actual disabled people who actually need to drive into and park in London into the bargain.”
“It is YOUR BADGE. It can only legally be used when you are a passenger in the car, or are being picked up or dropped off.”
“Is there a reason you don’t drive yourself? Motability will sort an assessment to identify what would be needed – they’re really very good with this stuff. Get cracking… no reason for mum to nick your badge if you’re using it in your own car.”
“Best wishes from a drive-from-wheelchair driver… one of my biggest teenaged regrets is that I didn’t start learning at 16!” – RafRafRafRaf
Though the OP felt somewhat guilty for upsetting her mother, the subReddit saw little reason for her to feel this way. Not only was the parking permit issued specifically for her disability and not her mother’s, but that also meant it was only hers to use when she needed to use it. Even if her mother was doing something for her in London, her use of the pass at the park would take priority.