By now, you've likely seen the video on our Facebook page come up in your newsfeed. Ashley Reynolds approached people parked in handicap spots without tags at Missouri State University. We wanted to see if there's a problem ... after emails from a mother with a handicapped son who says she couldn't find a spot.
"I'm here about eight times a week," said Cindy Rambo. She emailed Contact KY3 photos of cars parked in disabled parking without permits, tags or stickers.
"I just feel like people aren't respecting the handicap. They maybe forgotten people really need these spots and they can't walk. Maybe they should be more thankful they can walk," she said.
Her son, Dillon, uses a wheelchair.
"They have enough challenges without trying to find a parking spot. That really is reserved for them and someone else is in it that jumps out and runs back," she said.
it didn’t take long for Contact KY3 to find people illegally parked. In less than two hours we talked with four drivers who parked in these spots.
Also, we noticed about a dozen drivers parked in handicap spots with the engine running. You can’t do that.
"You can't even use them to just sit there and wait for somebody. It's strictly a permitted area," said Tom Johnson, Director of MSU Safety and Transportation. Johnson says people parking in handicap spots is an on-going problem. That’s why if you get a ticket, you cannot appeal.
It's zero tolerance.
"The fine is $105 dollars. It's the highest ticket we issue," he said.
Johnson says campus police give about thirty citations a month for disabled parking.
"If we are not responding to an emergency call or something like that, will send someone immediately, but sometimes they just park and leave," Johnson said.
Since our clip was posted on Facebook, we’ve heard a lot from students about parking problems.
"I've worked on college campuses for many years and parking conveniently is always an issue. While we do not have a spot for every person that is here because there's no capacity to do that, we do have parking. If you look to the parking lot to the north of our office here ... those are our parking lots and they're typically not very full. People can park in those and hop on the Bear line and probably get to class a lot quicker than they would circling lots," Johnson said.
Just like we did. If you see something, say something. Take a photo. Call police. We will follow up on this. We'll head back to campus in one month.