PHUKET: If you have ever been to Tesco Lotus or Big C – I will go out on a limb to say that most of us on the island have – did you ever park your vehicle in a handicapped parking spot if you are not handicapped? I hope not.
If you have, stop being selfish and give the spot those who really need it.
When I was a teenager in university, I would often ride my motorbike to Tesco Lotus or Big C. Many times I parked it in the handicapped parking spot.
I suppose I justified my decision with thoughts like ‘the motorcycle parking is too hot’, ‘the motorcycle parking is too far away’ or ‘I will only be parked here for a short time’.
Yes, all of these things are true, but what if a handicapped person needs to park close to the store and is not able to do so because the space is taken up by motorbikes or cars with drivers who are fully capable of parking farther away?
I once had a sprained ankle and needed a crutch to walk. My friend drove me in his car to Tesco Lotus to have some food. When we arrived, there were no free handicapped spaces available. They were full of motorcycles. I watched one man park his car in a handicapped spot and jump out and walk comfortably to the store.
This experience made me realize exactly how important it is to leave these spots open for people who need them. After that, I never parked in a handicapped space again.
I continue to see non-handicapped people parking in these spots.
Often, it’s a green-plate taxi driver who is either shopping or using the space to set up a taxi service desk.
If people continue to do this, the parking spots will never be free for those they are meant for.
I truly hope that behaviors like this disappear from our community.
Everyone must take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Start with improving yourself to make Phuket a better place for everyone.
— Pruth Kulprasit
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