Can delivery trucks block handicapped parking spaces?

June 21, 2013 5:48:20 PM PDT
An alert ABC11 viewer spotted a delivery truck blocking handicapped parking at a Dunn restaurant.

He called the company, but never got a response. So he turned it over to me.

The picture shows the delivery truck taking up not just one handicapped spot but two.

A different angle and you can see an empty non-handicapped spot behind the truck and several non-handicapped parking spots in front of it.

A viewer emailed me these pictures remembering a story I did on Laura Holland, a mom who says she struggles daily trying to find handicap parking when she's taking her disabled son to appointments, or even just out to eat. We rode around with her in 2011 to show just how frustrated she gets.

I put these new pictures on my Facebook page, and got lots of comments right away. One writing, "Being disabled myself I see this way too much also! He/she should be ticketed or at least made to move immediately."  

Another comment, "Call the police and they will give him a ticket," However, others pointed out that the truck had to park there as they were filling the restaurant's carbon dioxide to carbonate the drinks. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the fill box right beside the white service door and in front of the two handicapped spots.

I reached out to the company who delivers the carbon dioxide, the Machine and Welding Supply Company, to get to the bottom of it. The division manager said his crew was making an emergency carbond dioxide delivery to the restaurant that day, and the only option for a safe delivery was parking there. He added he wished the handicapped spots weren't right in front of the fill box and that they make every effort to avoid handicapped spots, but the safest delivery is being closest to the fill box.

We wanted to check if the law allows for that. When we reached out to the Dunn police, they referred us to the state statute on handicapped parking. We found that statute, and according to it, it's unlawful to park or leave standing any vehicle in a handicapped spot if it does not display a handicap license plate, or placard.

Police added if you spot a problem, call them and they will respond.

The division manager with the company added since we brought this to their attention, they are going to investigate whether there is an exception to the law to allow them to park in the handicap spots.

He also added, if a disabled person asked the truck to move they certainly would.

The division manager says they only park there for 20 minutes at most.

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