A sign marking a disabled person’s parking spot is seen Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Riverside. (Photo by Mark Acosta, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Q: Virginia Minder of Riverside asked how to handle a situation involving a disabled parking scofflaw. Minder is disabled and has a disabled parking placard. She recently came across a GMC truck with the driver inside and the motor running, parked in a disabled parking space in front of the beauty shop she frequents. The truck did not have a placard or a disabled driver license plate. The driver stayed in the disabled parking spot for 45 minutes. Minder said she didn’t want to confront him, “since you never know whom might have a gun or other weapon.” She asked how she should have handled this situation and if calling the local police non-emergency number would have been a good option.
A: We agree with our reader 100% that confronting this GMC driver would have been a possible safety risk and it was best not to. And yes, our reader could have called the local police department’s non-emergency number and asked if an officer could come out and enforce the disabled parking law by making this driver leave and/or citing him.
More on backing into parking spaces
On the Road recently addressed the legality of drivers reversing into parking spaces in response to a reader’s question. A handful of readers wrote in to add that it’s also safer to reverse into a parking space than to park head-first; several said their employers even required them to back-in when they were driving work vehicles. Who knew?
John Tyner of Murrieta said he worked for Pacific Bell for 30 years and was taught to always back in for safety reasons. “The reasoning was that as you approached the parking spot you could look for any obstructions or safety concerns. It then positioned you in a manner to have a clear view when exiting. This was especially true for most drivers as they were in vans which had large blind spots,” Tyner said.
Robert J. Close of Highland, a civil engineer, agreed. He said he was previously employed by several large international construction companies. “We were required to always park company vehicles by backing into the stall where it was allowed. It was emphasized as an important safety procedure,” Close said, noting the workers usually drove trucks.
David Do, a delivery driver in Orange County, added. “Many years ago, when I was undergoing training as a sales rep in Southern California for Sysco Corp., I was required to take a defensive driver driving course. … In this course, we were strongly advised to always park in reverse when possible. The reason provided to us in that course was that one out of every four parking lot accidents are caused by vehicles backing up out of their parking space.”
Miriam Holdaway of San Bernardino had a different view, however. She said, “I never back into a parking space. If another vehicle hits my car, I prefer they hit the rear of my vehicle rather than the front where the engine is.”
We thank our readers for their insights and input.
Do you commute to work in the Inland Empire? Spend a lot of time in your vehicle? Have questions about driving, freeways, toll roads or parking? If so, write or call On the Road and we’ll try to answer your questions. Please include your question or issue, name, city of residence, phone number and email address. Write email@example.com or call us at our new phone number, 951-368-9995.