Inconsiderate Drivers

“Encik, ini tempat letak kereta untuk OKU.” I told the man who just backed his Yellow Hyundai Getz into the accessible parking lot and pointed to him the large and unmistakable sign with the wheelchair logo.

“Lu mau parking sini kah?” He shot back with an annoyed look.

“Bukan, tapi kalau you park sini, pemandu OKU tiada tempat lain untuk letak kereta.” I pointed to the standard parking lots and continued, “Semua tempat lain tak cukup besar untuk letak kerusi roda apabila pemandu OKU nak keluar.”

Accessible parking occupied by cars of non-disabled drivers

He nodded with an extremely exasperated look and reluctantly drove out from the lot. I thought I had convinced him that parking in accessible parking lots would cause undue hardship to disabled drivers who needed to use the space.

Standard-sized parking lots are not wide enough to place a wheelchair by the side of the car for the driver to get out and in. The width of standard-sized parking lots is 2.50 meters while the width of an accessible parking lot is 3.60 meters.

A short while later Wuan who was pushing me pointed out, “See, he drove his car back into the parking lot.”

I turned back to look. Sure enough, the car was nicely parked and he was folding the wiper away from the windscreen. I shook my head and continue on my way to the LCCT-KLIA. It was not my place to insist that he move his car. That is the responsibility of the car park operator.

Accessible parking occupied by cars of non-disabled drivers

Of the 10 cars that occupied the 6 accessible parking lots at LCCT-KLIA car park, 9 were driven by non-disabled drivers. The other was mine. I had to get out from the car outside the lot and let Wuan drive the car into it. I would not be able to get out had I parked the car as the space between cars was too narrow for my wheelchair. How did I know the drivers of the other cars were non-disabled? None of the 9 cars had hand control kits installed and none had stickers with wheelchair logos.

It may seem harmless for non-disabled drivers to use accessible parking. However, such parking spaces are very limited. Rightfully, cars with disabled passengers must not use these spaces too. The driver should drop the disabled passenger near the entrance and park in standard-sized lots. When these spaces are occupied, disabled drivers will not have other places to park their cars.

Before occupying one of these spaces, please consider the hardships that a disabled driver has to go through. What is convenient for a non-disabled driver will cause a great inconvenience to a disabled driver. Please think before using an accessible parking.

I need to clarify that accessible parking spaces are for vehicles with either a disabled passenger or a disabled driver. I made a mistake in saying that they should only be for disabled drivers. I have since realised that reserving accessible parking spaces for disabled drivers while disallowing vehicles with disabled passengers is discriminatory. Read more about my take on this matter here: Say No To Priority Parking For Disabled Drivers

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

7 thoughts on “Inconsiderate Drivers”

  1. I’m not blowing my own trumpet but I’ve always refrained from using a parking lot allocated for wheelchair users. We definitely need to educate our drivers to be sensitive to the needs of the disabled-drivers.

    You certainly are not blowing your own trumpet. Your civic-mindedness is a virtue that should be emulated.

  2. We never park in accessible parking spaces either. Sad to say we have observed many such inconsiderate drivers before.
    May I use your photo as a photoblog for the MMR to highlight the problem?

    We need more conscientious drivers like you. Yes, you are most welcomed to use the images. Thank you for creating more awareness on this issue.

  3. It’s exactly like using the toilet for disabled people! Shame on them!

    By the way, just yesterday I found out the disabled toilet at ground floor of E-Gate now has new door knob. It’s the lever handle type. 🙂

    Never mind the new lever handle. Is the toilet still as small? Only idiots would build such a small toilet and put a wheelchair logo there.

  4. great that you spoke up to the getz car driver. more people should speak up when they see this happening.

    Most of the drivers I spoke to are understanding. But there are those few rotten apples who will give me dirty looks. To them I would whisper, “Your day will come.”

  5. I’ve seen this happen so many times. I have even confronted the driver. But all I got was “mind your own business”. This is Malaysia…. 🙂 I do it cause i can, not need for common sense. Sigh….

    Thank you for advocating for disabled drivers. Slowly and surely we can change attitudes if we continue to create awareness among society.

  6. i want to do a statistical survey on this issue. where is usually the best place to collect data?

    Car parks at shopping complexes, North-South expressway rest stops, LCCT-KLIA and government buildings. Also bear in mind that not all parkings with the wheelchair signs are accessible parkings. To quality, it must have a width of 3.6 meters.

  7. I was going to visit my mother recently via the air…when I did make my reservations I asked for help at the airport because I’m a disabled Veteran w/ a broken leg, bad back, bad neck and bad knees. If I don’t get help, there is no way I will make it from the check in to my plane…or from one plane to the next. Once I was checked in though, they turned me loose and there was no help. They sent me to a very long line. I went to the front of the line and told them of my problem and the man at the front said “So what? Everyone has a problem get to the end and wait.” I ended up not only missing my plane…I almost passed out…and they ended up charging me for another plane ride. One hint…Never fly through Alexandria, Louisiana.

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