Parent works to help catch handicap parking violators

Parent works to help catch handicap parking violators

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A parent in Lee County is taking action and working with local law enforcement to catch people who are depriving those who need handicap accessible parking spots.

Traci Henry is a parent of a special needs child. She started Butterfly Kisses, a group that provides parents with support, and information along with helping out with issues such as handicap parking spots.

"A parent approached me very frustrated to bring her child to school one day, and there are six lots here at KPS and they were all full so she had to wait," said Henry.

She also noted that none of the cars parked in handicap accessible spaces had permits or tags.

Henry said parking without permits has been an on going issue at Kinchafoonee Primary School.

"It makes an issue for children that really need it, but there's also parents here that are handicapped," she explained.

The school is asking parents to be considerate.

"Go through our pickup line, which is what most of our parents do, or park in another spot that is not identified as handicap," suggested Principal Dr. Trina Muse.

Authorities say they hear excuses for improperly parked cars too often. Many times the person was "running late," or they were "just going inside for a second."

"Be careful how you park," said Lee Co. Sheriff Reggie Rachals. "These handicap spots are put here for our kids and our veterans."

Sheriff Rachals said people abuse handicap parking spaces mostly in busy parking lots such as Walmart, Harveys and Publix.

But his office also writes tickets for people using a permit that belongs to someone else.

If that permit is not registered to that person or that vehicle, you can't be parking in that handicap spot," he said.

Those who are caught can expect to pay $250 in fines.

Violations also include motorcycles that park in the blue lines between handicap parking spots.

The amount of handicap spaces in a parking lot depends on the size of the building and the size of the parking area.

Drivers who see handicap parking violations can call 759-6464 or non-emergency dispatch at 759-6012.

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