Humourous sign inspires ideas to stop blue-zone abusers

A sign with a biting message for people who abuse disabled parking spots in British Columbia is making the rounds on social media, and is inspiring some people in St. John's to come up with their own ideas on how to stop offenders.

Printed on the sign which has been circulating on Facebook and Twitter is, "Lazy is not a handicap - Park elsewhere."

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said the city of St. John's should come up some something similar, and is calling on people to make suggestions on how to stop offenders.

"Don't be stupid this is for disability parking only- $400," O'Keefe said was one idea he came up with.

"Maybe that might frighten people into thinking twice."

Last spring, fines for parking illegally in a blue-zone spot in St. John's increased from $75 to $400, but the mayor said it doesn't appear to have made a difference.

170 tickets have been issued since tickets went up in price, about the same rate of tickets as before the increase.

"Obviously for some people they are just not getting the message and maybe some kind of creative enterprise like this might make a difference," said O'Keefe.

Michelle Murdock, president, Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador said using humour on disabled parking signs could help people change their behaviour.

"If these signs bring awareness to that and people get the humour then that's great."

But she warns signs need to be created carefully so people who don't use walkers or wheelchairs, but still need to park in a blue-zone space feel welcome to do so.

"Sometimes they are judged unfairly by members of the public," said Murdock.

"I think that we need to have faith that the people who have the permits have them for a reason."

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