There Must Be Something in the Water Over There…
Here’s the story. A wounded veteran in the UK in a wheel chair got a ticket for parking in a disabled parking spot. He had applied for a disabled placard but hadn’t received it yet. He assumed that when he wheeled in to the parking office with his receipt for the placard, he would have the ticket voided. On the first go, it wasn’t. However, after the local council and head of the parking department heard about the issue, they immediately voided the ticket, apologized to everyone in sight, and started training programs for their staff. All’s well that ends well. Not quite for the parking department.
What was the headline?
Was it – War Hero receives disabled parking badge
Was it – Parking department gets its act together, finally
Was it – Poole Parking Puts Parking Ticket Right
Naaaaa – it was
Hero soldier blown up in Afghanistan fined £60 for parking in disabled bay despite the fact he’s in a WHEELCHAIR
The headline wasn’t even accurate – he wasn’t fined £60, his fine was never assessed. When the story was written, the ticket had already been voided. There was nothing that said that the newspaper told anyone and then the ticket was voided. The article says “officials” at the local council refused to rescind his ticket, but in reality that was probably one clerk who was having a bad day. You find out about that in paragraph 20 just after they give you a list of his injuries and an ab fab picture of him and his “partner” in front of the parking structure. Note that in the picture he looks dejected (well, he had just been blown up) but in the picture taken in Afghanistan he looks cute and happy.
This wasn’t even a story. But it gets headlines in the “Mail on line”. This is why we have to be so careful and need to ensure that the folks what work for parking operations and meet the public have the ability to make decisions. Too much regulation and too little front line thought can cause all sorts of problems.