Abusing Accessible Parking – What KY Saw At Sunway Pyramid

I woke up very late this morning as I totally was exhausted from the road trip to Ipoh, then to Penang, back to Ipoh and finally back to Kuala Lumpur. One of the things that I usually do right after I get up is to read blogs. I headed over to KY’s blog and found this very interesting photo he put up with an equally interesting entry on it.

Sunway Pyramid is not a favourite weekend haunt for Wuan and me as we usually prefer Mid Valley Megamall, The Gardens, One-Utama or Ikano and The Curve. These places all have accessible parkings. Ikano, notably, has one of the best accessible parking of all the shopping complexes which is of the correct size and situated just next to the entrance.

At Mid Valley Megamall, there are number of parkings at Level P1 which are labelled with the wheelchair logo. There are three more at Level 3 multi-storey parking complex with the same labelling. However these are standard size lots reserved for disabled people. Where parking for disabled people is concerned, Mid Valley Megamall does not adhere to the accessibility standards. Moreover, these parkings are regularly used by inconsiderate non-disabled drivers who are too lazy to look for vacant parkings elsewhere.

Car parks for drivers who use wheelchairs are called accessible parking and not handicapped parking or disabled parking. The standard width of a normal parking lot is 1.80 meters while an accessible parking has to be 3.6 meters. There is logic to this. If a driver who uses a wheelchair parks in one of those normal lots, he will not be able to open the car door fully. There also will not be enough space for a wheelchair between cars. In short, normal-sized parkings is useless to a wheelchair user as he cannot get out of his car.

These accessible parkings should preferably be reserved for drivers using wheelchairs rather than for passengers in wheelchairs. Accessible parkings are very limited in numbers. A disabled driver who cannot park in an accessible parking will have nowhere else to park. If we were to use the normal-sized parkings, we will not be able to get out as some of us travel alone and need that extra space to fully open the door and assemble our wheelchairs there and then. On the other hand, a disabled passenger can be dropped off at the entrance while the non-disabled driver can go look around for the normal parking lots and park there.

KY Saw - Abuse of accessible parking at Sunway Pyramid
Image courtesy of KYSpeaks.

Back to KY’s photo. We can see that this black Toyota Vios with the car registration number WPK 6393 parked his car smack right in the middle of two accessible parkings. Truth be told, I usually do the same thing at the Mid Valley Megamall’s Level 3’s accessible parkings. That is because the three lots that the complex management reserved for disabled people are of the standard size. If I were to park according to the lines on the ground, the cars beside the driver’s side could be too close to mine and I could be stranded without a way to get into the car.

In KY’s photo, it is apparent that three normal sized parkings were made into two. That is the standard width for accessible parkings. There is more than enough space for a disabled driver using a wheelchair to fully open the door and place his wheelchair there if he were to park properly. There is no justification whatever for any driver, disabled or otherwise, to park like that. It is not only inconsiderate but this act deprives people who really need to use those two parkings.

Perhaps this person has a problem with his eyesight. If that is so, such drivers should not be allowed to drive not because they are inconsiderate but because they are a danger to other road users. Perhaps he had a stomach ache and needed to get to a toilet fast and those were the only parking he could find. If that was so, I hope he did not soil his pants. It would have been so embarrassing to be walking around Sunway Pyramid with a stain at that strategic spot. Or perhaps he was just being an idiot. We will never know.

KY suggested that I beat up this fellow with a stick. I am not that violent lar, KY. Besides, there is no law to penalise drivers like this as there is really no law that states that non-disabled drivers are not allowed to use such parkings. The Ministry of Transport and local authorities are not doing anything to change the situation to make it easier for drivers who use wheelchairs. Having said that, a little consideration by non-disabled drivers in not abusing such facilities will go a long way in making life easier for disabled people. Is that too much to ask for?

This person who parked his car indiscriminately in KY’s photo should pray hard that his will never ever genuinely need to use accessible parkings. Disability does not discriminate. Anybody can become disabled at the blink of an eye. It happened to me. It can happen to just anybody else. To people who think it is all right to deprive disabled drivers of such facilities, think about what I have just said the next time you think that parking at places reserved for disabled people is an excuse for your laziness. You may just really need that parking one day. Thanks to KY for highlighting this issue.

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 “Abusing Accessible Parking – What KY Saw At Sunway Pyramid”

  1. Dear god. What a complete and utter toolbox.

    There is, of course, this utter temptation to deal with a little vigilante justice on the fellow’s car.

    Like waxing the car till it shines and reflects his stupid face when he looks at it?

  2. I think the owner wanna test the car park detection system.

    That is a possibility. Or was he testing the patience of people who have no choice but to park there?

  3. If being ‘disabled’ means lacking the capacity to utilise a certain body part, this fellow is probably cerebrally incapacitated. I’ve seen more than a few drivers who get behind the wheel with empty cranial cavities.

    I find it offensive that these people are lumped together with other disabled people. It gives us “real” disabled people a bad name. 😛

  4. That car was still at the same spot after 2 hours. I doubt he was in the toilet for that long.

    Maybe it was so bad that they had to send him to the hospital? 😉

  5. Well before we wrongfully prejudge him, lets give him the benefit of the doubt and look at the signs.It shows a person in a wheelchair.He’s possibly blind as a proverbial bat,mentally challenged or missing a dick/balls (is that considered a handicap?). Thats why he figures a) technically he’s disabled in one way or another and b) since the sign shows a person in a wheelchair and he doesn’t fall in that category technically speaking, he decides to park in the centre.Sound plausible?!!
    I leave you to decide.

    You got it all covered, huh!

  6. I have a disability in physical. I had been looking at this scene when i need a parking space in a complex, the disabled parking is always park by other cars. So everytime i have to turn and turn to wait or find for other parking that nearer to the entrance. I totally agrre that ikano have the best accessible parkings that allow disabled people to enter. But sometimes is full with car. Another place i want to tell is the Summit USJ. The disabled parking is not near the entrance, but is always cover with cones and is taking care by the securities. They will even lock the car that simply park in. During my working there, i am really had i good parking morning that i don’t need to rush for the parking inside the ground floor that is not so safe for me. As i will always feel it is not so safe for a disabled like me to walk in the complex car park alone when i did not get the accessible car par, anything will happen, whose know?

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