Cop Posts Powerful Image Showing Why Accessible Parking Spots Need Space

While there are a lot of ways that people can make others see them in a negative light, one of the fastest ways has to be parking in a spot intended for those living with disabilities when you don't need to.

If the thought of someone doing that makes you angry, you're definitely not alone because people throughout the country are known to watch those spaces like hawks. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in people who have legitimate access to those spots being harassed because their disabilities aren't clearly visible.

But what many folks don't seem to realize is that someone can become just as much of an obstacle even if they don't park on the accessible parking spot itself. And the sad image that one police officer shared on Facebook demonstrates how that can happen.

Before he became a member of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Zack Goins worked for the Pearl Police Department.

And while he doesn't make a habit of posting things he has seen in the line of duty on Facebook, there was one such scene that personally resonated with him and served as a good opportunity to inform the public.

And one of the most common violations he came across while patrolling the city of Pearl may not be what you're expecting.

As Goins told WLBT, he would write about 20 citations a month just for those who were unlawfully parking in accessible spaces.

In his words, "A lot of times when I'm writing citations just in the City of Pearl, that's what I'm writing them for."

In many of those cases, however, the culprit wasn't parking in the space itself.

Instead, their cars would be crossing into the striped area you can often see next to the blue sign marking the spot. And as far as accessibility goes, that's just as bad as taking the spot.

As Goins said, "A lot of people don't understand why and say 'well I didn't park in the handicap zone.' No, but you parked in the area designated for it."

And on May 21, 2018, Goins posted a photo from a particularly unfortunate case of someone doing this that shows why it matters so much.

As his image demonstrates, parking in that space can prevent someone who uses a ramp to enter and exit vehicles from easily getting around.

In the case of this young man, it's pretty clear that his wheelchair simply doesn't have room to get off the ramp thanks to whoever parked this vehicle.

According to WLBT, the father of this child thanked Goins for raising awareness about this problem after his photo was shared thousands of times by Facebook users. At the time of this writing, it has compelled about 290,000 people to share it with others.

Although the scene was able to make people sad and angry all on its own, Goins also has a personal reason to discourage these kinds of violations.

As he told WLBT, looking at the photo he took reminded him of his cousin.

As he put it, "Now when I see it, I think if he needed that spot, if we went somewhere and he needed a spot it wouldn't be available. He's able to walk however, it just takes him a little longer. It would help out a lot of people would just follow this rule."

When it comes to accessible spaces, Goins has also issued citations for not displaying a placard like this in a vehicle.

He has also dealt with some drivers who thought they could park in an accessible spot by using someone else's placard while that person isn't present.

As Goins said, "There's a person that it is issued to and that's who it's only valid for."

h/t: WLBT