Everyone who has read The Police News over the years knows we are big advocates of strong enforcement of handicap parking violations. We also strongly believe that a reporter, especially one who calls himself an "investigative" reporter, should know what he's talking about when he does a story. And when doing "ambush" reporting, he or she should really have their ducks all in the row before putting on a show in which they act like an expert of somekind.
State law regarding handicap parking requires that at the front of every handicap space there be a sign, at least 60 inches above the ground, as well as the emblem painted on the ground, indicating the space is for handicap parking. If the sign is not there, the space does not comply, and anyone may park in it, and that means they may park right on top of the emblem on the ground.
You will notice in the video story about, the reporter never mentions the required sign, nor does he show on camera the place where the sign at the front of the parking space belongs. If that sign was not there, then even though it made a very bad appearance for the deputy to park there, he was not illegally parked in a handicap zone.
Granted, if I were his Constable, it would have been a bad experience for that deputy, but on the other hand, a reporter, in my opinion, should not take a bad situation and make it worse. He was not interested in correcting the situation, he was interested in creating drama and adverse public opinion about law enforcement. He was reveling in self glorification and it was evident in the way he presents his ambush.
And here it is:
The Texas Accessibility Standards requires that:
A minimum number of accessible parking spaces must be provided, consistent with the chart below. At least one out of every eight spaces, but no less than one, must be made van-accessible.
Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an accessible entrance. If there are multiple accessible entrances, the accessible parking spaces shall be dispersed and located closest to the accessible entrances.
Parallel parking is discouraged unless it can be situated so that persons entering and exiting vehicles will be out of the flow of traffic.
Accessible parking spaces must be at least 96 inches (2440 millimeters) wide.
Each accessible parking space must have either an access aisle at least 60 inches (1525 millimeters) wide or a van-accessible aisle at least 96 inches (2440 millimeters) wide.
Parking spaces and access aisles must be level, with a maximum allowable slope of 2% in all directions.
Each accessible parking space shall be designated as a reserved space with a sign showing the symbol of accessibility. Designated van-accessible parking spaces must have an additional "Van-Accessible" sign mounted below the symbol of accessibility.
Signs shall be located 60 Inches (1525 millimeters) above the ground.
Covered parking must provide a minimum vertical clearance of 114 inches (2895 millimeters) at entrances, exits, passenger loading zones, and along at least one vehicle access route.
Covered parking must provide a minimum vertical clearance of 98 inches (2490 millimeters) at all van-accessible spaces.
Passenger loading zones shall provide an access aisle at least 60 inches (1525 millimeters) wide and 240 inches (6100 millimeters) long parallel to the vehicle pull-up space.
Two parking spaces may share the same access aisle.