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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Out of bay

To us it’s a code 86 ‘Parked beyond the bay markings’, to certain members of the public it’s an imposition, an impertinence of the highest order. In a crowded car park it cuts down on the spaces for everyone, and even in an uncrowded car park it’s still a pain and downright inconsiderate.

Today I got called ‘pedantic’ for slapping a ticket on a flash car whose owner was taking up two parking bays by parking his new dick-mobile smack dab centre over the white bay marking. Took my photo’s, made my notes, and even a disabled badge won’t get you off this one, matey. How the hell someone who is apparently disabled and cannot get a proper job can afford such a vehicle is beyond me. As far as I was concerned, it was a kosher booking.

Two minutes later I was summoned by the traditional outraged cry of the ticketed motorist thus; “Oy, you!” I suppose that means me. Went my weary subconscious. I turned to face a man in his fifties who seemed to be fully mobile, and judging from the volume of his voice, certainly did not suffer from any respiratory illness.
“What did you book me for? I’m disabled!”
“I take it that is your vehicle sir.” I nodded towards the brand new BMW 7 series he was angrily waving at.
“Yeah. What did you book me for? I’ve got a disabled badge!”
“Your vehicle is taking up two bays sir.”
“But I’m disabled!”
“That is no exemption sir. It is a requirement of this car park that you park within the bay markings. Says it quite clearly on the tariff board. There is no disabled exemption.”
“Car park’s not full. You can’t book me!” Really has got some good lungs this man. What is his disability?
“That’s not the point sir. You must park within the bay markings.”
“You’re just being pedantic!”
“That is a moot point sir.” Yes I really talk like this. “Disabled badge or not, the tariff board clearly states the rules of the car park.”
“What’s your name?” He demands.
“I am Officer 515 sir.”
“I want your name!”
“That’s all I am allowed, or wish, to tell you sir.” Damn! Missed the cue for ‘my name is for my friends’.
“You’re bloody pedantic you are! I’m reporting you.” Oh gawd, not another one. Here we go round the flaming mulberry bush, again.
“That is your privilege sir.” I’m not giving way pal. “The challenge procedure is on the back of the ticket as you feel that the ticket has been issued unfairly. Unfortunately, once it is issued, there is nothing more I am allowed to do.” So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

He stomps off making repeated exhortations that include the word ‘pedantic’. I turn away and carry on patrolling. He’s right of course. Although I contest the ‘Trivial’ part of the definition. The ‘Park in bay’ rule does have a purpose; and in this case is firstly to make sure that the full tally of car park spaces are free for everyone, and secondly to deter flash gits from taking up two parking bays just because they are afraid of getting their paintwork scuffed.

If that’s pedantic, then I are a pedant.


Anonymous jon said...

He certainly doesn't sound disabled - any reason you didn't question his use of a disabled permit?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 10:08:00 pm  
Blogger DiscoveredJoys said...

Nice one! I detest people (especially in flash cars) who have no consideration for others.

Disabled badges are tricky - I display the relevant badges when I am driving my disabled father or mother-in-law around, but if,say, I drop them off at the hospital and then return to my car there is no obviously disabled person with me. There are however a number of cheats who have an unjustified badge or use a relative's badge when not appropriate. I can tolerate a low number of cheats but at some point the number of cheats exceeds the acceptable limit.

I would welcome an enforcement purge so that those with limited mobility can park without unfair competiton. I understand the maximum fine for misuse of a badge is £1000 - should we add a driving retest or car crushing as further deterrents?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 10:37:00 pm  
Anonymous silliyak said...

Do they give disability stickers for psych, emotional, or IQ deficiencies over there?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 11:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit uneasy on this issue. As much as I hate people messing around with the blue badge system ( my own grandmother included! ) I don't like that people tend to assume that if a disability isn't visible ( wheelchair ) or obvious ( limping ) then it doesn't exist. I've known several people with cerebral palsy and to average joe they're not "disabled" but "drunk".

I also don't like the suggestion you have made that disabled people who need a disabled badge also cannot get a job, and do well in it enough to get a nice car: can't we disabled people get by without people having to make the assumption that we have to live on the breadline just because we're disabled?

It is most likely that in this case it was a falsie, but I don't like the tone of the post at all, which is a shame because I usually like your posts and find them well reasoned and thoughtful.

Friday, September 29, 2006 5:41:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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