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Are we there yet? Differentially unable

Back Seat Driver (The Freeman) - February 14, 2016 - 9:00am

While half the city’s motorists were gritting their teeth, wading through what some journalists were quick to label “carmaggedon,” I was browsing through a popular social media network.   Wait, let me clarify that.  While half the city’s motorists were stuck in the monster traffic mess created by the amazingly inept public works department, I was browsing the Internet while sitting in my jalopy waiting for our line to crawl another foot or two forward.  Yes, I was neck deep in exhaust fumes, stuck in the same disaster everyone else was in.

But the bright side to all this?  While browsing through the worldwide web, I came across a video about how some establishments in Russia are starting to install devices that are designed to deter motorists from parking at spots designated for persons with disability if their vehicle is not registered as transporting someone with disability.  The video, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUfcNNv3g68) shows the PWD parking spot equipped with a sensor that will scan if the vehicle has an officially issued PWD sticker.  If a vehicle is equipped with one, nothing else happens.  However, if a vehicle without an officially issued PWD sticker would attempt to park at the PWD designated slot, a hologram-like video of a person on a wheelchair will appear on the slot and inform the motorist that the spot is for PWDs only.  Well, the message is actually more pointed, and drives the message deeper.  Bottomline, it drives the message home.  Sort of.

To an idiot motorist with a smidgen of a conscience, the message will put them to shame and they will opt to sheepishly park elsewhere.  But, if you were, say, a moronic law enforcer like this one (https://www.facebook.com/topgearphilippines/photos/a.147830941930649.28745.110345575679186/888725374507865/?type=1&theater), you’d probably ignore the cinematic drama and callously park anyway. 

So how do we make sure our fellow countrymen, who are classified as PWDs, get to park at their designated spot without some unqualified twit taking that privilege away from them?  Easy, instead of having just a hologram, a solid metal pole should be partially hidden behind the projected image.  If the unqualified nitwit would insist to run over the hologram, thinking it’s nothing more than just movie magic, his vehicle would have a very realistic and impactful acquaintance with the metal pole.

I hope this idea would gain traction and someone from the National Council on Disability Affairs will push for the implementation of such devices in all parking lots.  I have had my fair share of seeing PWDs not being able to park at the slots allocated to them because of morally and mentally challenged, pompous individuals like the law enforcer in the link above.  This has to stop, and people should be penalized badly for taking that privilege away from our fellow countrymen with disability.

On a slightly unrelated note, I wonder if it is purely coincidental that the morally and mentally challenged law enforcer was driving a vehicle that has also been, sort of, controversially labeled as a vehicle with “mental” issues.  I’ll leave that thought hanging for now.

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