LEWISBURG, P.A. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A Pennsylvania mom took to Facebook to remind drivers of what can happen when they don't respect the areas around handicapped parking spaces.
Jamie Swan says she took her son, who is disabled, to his physical therapy session at Evangelical Hospital in Lewisburg, P.A. earlier this month. She says they arrived with no difficulty, but upon leaving, came out to discover that someone had parked just over the diagonal-lined area next to their handicapped parking space.
Because of where the driver parked, she was unable to guide her 5-year-old son, Griffin, up his ramp and into the van.
"Since my son and I were alone, my options were A: Leave my 5-year-old outside of the vehicle alone while I move the van, or B: Transfer him into the van while I move it and then back into his chair to load it," Swan told FOX 46.
She says she worries about what a handicapped adult would have done in the situation if they were alone.
"In that case, had the handicapped person been alone, they would have had no options other than wait for the other vehicle to move."
Swan admits that the parking space was not marked as "van acessible," but says it was what was available and worked for her son. She also says despite the technicality, the area around the handicapped parking spaces should not be infringed upon by other drivers.
"Regardless of whether this is a van accessible spot or not, it is handicapped, and not to be parked on. The lines to allow extra room."
People often talk about the importance of not taking handicapped spaces away from those who truly need them, but rarely think about the extra space that is needed for some. Swan is hoping the photo will raise awareness, and remind drivers to be considerate of others' needs.
For more information on requirements and regulations for handicapped parking and van accesible handicapped parking, click here.
FOX 46 reported on this story from Charlotte, N.C.