7 ON YOUR SIDE fights back against drivers who illegally park in handicapped spaces

7 ON YOUR SIDE fights back against drivers who illegally park in handicapped spaces (ABC7)

Parking can be a huge headache but as an exclusive 7 On Your Side I-Team investigation shows, most of us have it easy compared to what families with disabled children have to do to find a place to park.

Cindy Lawson and Jennifer Bukovac, both mothers of disabled children, are both fed up leaving notes on windshields of drivers illegally parked in handicapped spots.

"Some of it is just blatant abuse," Bukovac adds.

Pictures taken by Lawson and other moms supplied to the I-Team show what they face.

"It's a daily struggle," Lawson says.

The photos show a truck parked in a handicapped zone at a little league ballpark, another vehicle taking up disabled parking at a McLean, Virginia, school—but what she found at various UPS stores is really making moms mad.

"We were just going to go to the toy store. There was a UPS truck that was doubled parked. Not only taking up both handicapped spaces but also blocking the curb cutout," Lawson says.

She sent 7 On Your Side video of an UPS truck parking in handicapped spots as they load and unload their trucks.

Lawson adds, "And they were the only handicapped spaces in the shopping center. I waited about 30 minutes watching him and we just left. You don't want to be with him on a day that he doesn't have access to a toy store. Isn't that right?"

She says this is not an isolated incident and adds, "It's a systematic issue that needs addressing."

Lawson also documented it happening at two other locations with other drivers.

7 On Your Side went undercover and the I-Team watched as a UPS driver in Purcellville, Virginia, pulled into a shopping plaza parking space that blocks the crosswalk and in between two handicapped spots, making them useless for anyone getting out of a side-loading van.

I-Team Investigator Scott Taylor approached the driver with ABC7 News cameras rolling and asked: “Can you tell me why you are parked here in between two handicapped spots and also the cross walk? It doesn't seem safe."

The driver admits he shouldn't have parked there and says: "Sometimes there is no free space."

Taylor says: "Yah, but there was a free space this time why didn't you park over there?"

The driver says: "I can move over there, Sir."

The I-Team shared our photos and video with UPS.

UPS wouldn't talk on camera but did send us a statement:

“We appreciate you sharing these with us. It is UPS policy to adhere to all local, state and national traffic laws. We've shared the information you provided with our local management so they can investigate and take appropriate action.”

The driver moved his truck and both of moms hope the message will get thru to UPS and everyone else willing to snatch up a spot that belongs to somebody else who really needs it.

Lawson says, "Maybe a little piece of humanity will be sparked in their hearts when they see the impact that their choices make."

Tickets for illegally parking in a handicapped zone can run anywhere from $100 up to $500 depending on where you live. If you see a handicapped parking violation call the police and ask them to investigate.

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