An elderly driver has been shamed for parking in a disabled bay outside a Coles supermarket in Sydney’s northwest.
A man on Facebook posted photos from Coles at Epping on Sunday of a Ford Falcon with an elderly man in the driver’s seat parked in the bay without a permit.
The man claims he confronted the elderly man, who said he was 74, about where he was parked. The elderly man responded saying he was waiting to pick up his wife from church.
The first man advised him the disabled spot was not for older drivers but said there are seniors sports coming for the shopping centre.
The elderly man asked the other man if he would like to see his seniors card or his driver’s licence.
“OK, I’ll move you are extremely rude,” the elderly man said.
“No, I’m not the a**hole here,” the other man replied.
“How dare you use such language,” the old man responded.
On Facebook, people called the elderly man “ignorant”.
“Ignoramuses think because they are 'old' that disabled parks are for them,” one woman wrote.
“No that is seniors parks - there is a difference. Many older people I have been finding think they are entitled to use these spots illegally.”
Other people called him entitled but some had sympathy for him.
“While I don't agree with someone parking in these spots without a permit, maybe his wife can't walk far,” one woman wrote.
Another man suggested people should show more empathy for the elderly man.
“I pray you never get old and someday need a permit. Not all disabilities can be seen by the eye,” he wrote.
‘More seniors spots needed’
National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke told Yahoo News Australia people with disabilities should be the only ones entitled to use those spaces.
“There is room for retailers to create more spaces for seniors and people with mobility issues such as those who use walkers,” Mr Henschke said.
“There are pram spots – maybe we should consider doing the same thing with older Australians who have walkers.
“That would go some way to solving the problem and we should encourage the elderly to go out more and engage with society.”
However, he added he didn’t “want to see disabled people lose their spaces”.
In NSW, parking in a disabled bay without the correct permit can attract one demerit point and a $572 fine.
It’s different for privately-operated car parks though – the permits still have to be displayed but the rules are policed by the operators.
To be eligible for a disabled parking permit in NSW, also known as a Mobility Parking Scheme permit, you have to meet the Clinically Recognisable Disability criteria.
Clinically recognised disabilities include blindness, paraplegia, cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease.
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