Disabled drivers – victims of masculine impudence

2009 m. Spalis 15 d.
Parking places for the disabled people by the shopping centers are usually taken by young, urban men. Representatives of Lithuanian People with Disabilities’ Association say that impudent drivers usually have no idea what it takes to reach the very end of the parking lot for someone having a physical disability and carrying a bunch of bags with purchases. Moreover, they do not feel any guilt for their behavior. Hence, the campaign “I Never Take a Place of the Disabled People” was launched and it should help people to understand each other better and behave consciously.
“Parking places for disabled people by the shopping centers are usually taken by the impudent drivers during the rush hours – after a work day, during the lunch breaks, and on weekends. Usually these are young drivers, men more often then women”, - says Gintaras Aliksandravicius, Manager of the Traffic Supervision Service.
According to Rasa Kavaliauskaite, the president of the Lithuanian People with Disabilities’ Association, disabled people face the society’s lack of common sense and lack of knowledge. “We want drivers to know the experience of the disabled people. It is much more difficult for us to reach the shopping center and then come back to the car. Sometimes the disabled people cannot even get out of their cars because in regular parking places other cars are parked too close to each other”, - says Rasa Kavaliauskaite.
Tony Holmberg, the Managing Director of “Rimi Lietuva”, says that the company decided to cooperate with the Lithuanian People with Disabilities’ Association and the website www.neigalieji.lt initiated by the design studio “TAPE”. Joint partners seek to inform drivers about the problems of the disabled people, as well as stimulate them to think, especially those who have the impression that if he leaves a car in a place for the disabled people only for a short while, it does not cause any difficulties for anyone. “Rimi Lietuva” has been cooperating with the Traffic Police for several years and announces about the illegal parking regularly. However, it is obvious that these actions are not sufficient. We decided to undertake the additional means to educate drivers about the experience of the disabled people and it should force them to think about others in the first place”, - said T. Holmberg. 
According to him, the launched campaign should result in drivers’ understanding and disabled people’s parking places should be left spare. The Managing Director expressed his regrets that the lack of knowledge and lack of common sense have formed the careless view that “if I leave my car only for a short while, nothing will happen”. “That is why we are not going to punish or frighten them, we will aim at reminding them not to take the places for the disabled people even for a short while”, - said the Managing Director of “Rimi Lietuva”.
All “Rimi” customers are invited to inform shopping centers administration about the illegal parking. People can also take pictures of such cases and upload them to the updated website www.neigalieji.lt, which already has photos of more than 200 illegal parking cases. Creators of this website - the design studio “TAPE”, who added an option of sending the pictures straight to the police institution rather then just posting the photos itself.
“Active discussions in the press and among the colleagues and friends obliged us to undertake the tangible actions so that we could solve the vital problem of the disabled people all together. Everyone having the civic spirit can upload pictures of the violations to the website www.neigalieji.lt. According to our experience, publicity is one of the best ways to discipline the impudent drivers”, - says Arnas Blinkevicius, Manager of the design studio “TAPE”.

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