Police Department's 'Sassy' Post Reminding People to Respect Accessible Parking Goes Viral
On Monday, Texas’ Southlake Police Department posted a ‘snarky’ message on its Facebook page to remind people to respect accessible parking.
The flyer police shared on social media includes a color-in-the-lines picture of a Southlake police badge and says:
“We noticed you had a little trouble staying in the lines when you parked next to a handicapped space… Maybe if you practice coloring our patch and staying in the lines here, it could help you avoid citations in the future?”
The rest of the Facebook post reads:
“We try to avoid snark and sass (we REALLY do), but sometimes our fair citizens make it hard.
Please stay in the lines when you park, ESPECIALLY if it’s next to a handicapped spot, or you might be the recipient of one of our new fliers.
Be kind and drive kind and park kind! Let this graphic be an attention grabbing example so we don’t have to end up going to FedEx Kinko’s and making like thousands of copies of these.”
Southlake Officer Brad Uptmore came up with the idea to create a flyer that would catch people’s attention in regards to parking violations. He made the graphic and talked to his police chief to make sure he was behind the idea. Together, they came up with the message and staged the images for social media.
The police department will not be handing out these flyers. It was simply done for awareness as an eye-catching graphic to hit the point home. Their post has now gone viral on social media.
“When I worked patrol, nothing upset me more than seeing blatant terrible parking jobs that infringed on [accessible] spots (or just parking in an [accessible] spot without a placard),” Uptmore told The Mighty. “The law is pretty clear on how wrong that is, so I was hoping to illustrate a point and these days the only way to really do that is to be a little sassy and a little coy about it.”
Uptmore said the rules regarding accessible parking are simple and black-and-white. “This isn’t something to argue like, ‘I was only going to park there for a second,’ or ‘I was gone just one minute!” he said. “It is marked in every single possible way with a giant painted parking space and a giant sign. It is for [people who need them] and the law is clear.”
Uptmore added those accessible spots are necessary for people who need to use the cutout ramps on sidewalks, to unload wheelchairs or medical equipment, or simply to get as close to where they need to go as possible. He also wants to remind people that those who qualify for accessible parking have to go through a process to obtain their placards or tags.
While the flyers posted on social media were never meant to be distributed, Uptmore says the post has been viewed over 3 million times across all platforms. The Southlake Police Department hopes the next time someone considers parking in an accessible spot or parks in a way that prevents people from using an accessible spot, they will be more considerate, think of the post and reconsider.
This is not the first time a police officer tried to bring awareness to the issue of accessible parking. Last year, officer Officer Zack Goins from Mississippi shared an image on his Facebook page of a child unable to access the ramp into his vehicle because a car was parked over the loading area of the accessible spot.
Goins wrote: “For anyone who asks why you would get a citation for parking in the striped area in a handicap zone, THIS IS WHY!!!” His status accompanying the image was shared over 273,000 times.