If you’ve taken a drive to South Beach or Wynwood lately - you know how hard it is to find a parking space. Well, that’s what is happening to our paralyzed veterans - because people are taking their handicapped parking spaces - who don’t really need them. Drivers may think it’s a “victimless crime” and not hurting anyone, but it is hurting the men and women who fight for our freedom.
U.S. Army veteran and Paralyzed Veterans of America member Marco Bungert enlisted when he was just 18. He served for about two years before being injured in a car accident. While he was recovering in the hospital, a PVA officer met with him to discuss the options and benefits available for him.
Through all the benefits, the most available one should be parking spaces. Not only do these spaces limit the distance from the business, but they are also wide enough so a wheelchair can easily get out of the space. Bungert says when people use the excuse that they're just going to be there for a few minutes, they're still taking away a necessary resource for people like him.
"It's taking away our independence," he says. "There was a survey done with people with disabilities that said 85% of people are dealing with this in their own communities...they'll just turn around and go back because that space isn't available for them."
This is an everyday occurrence, stopping people from going to appointments, going out to eat, or even going grocery shopping. PVA has been active for 75 years fighting for accessibility. If you want to join the fight, you can click here and take the pledge.