TIL the city of Houston, Texas has a program where they train citizens to write tickets for handicap parking violations. After taking a course in proper procedure, you are given the authority to ticket anyone you see parked in a handicap spot without a placard.

TIL the city of Houston, Texas has a program where they train citizens to write tickets for handi...

Live in Houston, can't confirm, but will be signing up soon to write tickets

Update: Following through, will be attending the Jan. 25th class. Will keep Reddit updated

Wife has some medical issues that are not obvious. We have a handicap placard and nothing infuriates me more than people who park there illegally. My wife just says its ok, we can walk...But I see how much this hurts her, even though she thinks she is hiding it.

On the plus side, My city just created an app that lets you report any violations you see. Take a clear picture showing the violation through the app and report the location. A ticket is in the mail. I hate to admit how much satisfaction that app gives me.

I actually talked to some old dude who was ticketing someone like this. His wife is handicapped, so it would piss him off to see people illegally parked. Now he goes around dealing justice as a way to get out of the house and get some exercise.

Please make a post when you make your first ticket

Invisible disabilities are tough to deal with. So many comments about why my wife shovels the walk while I just keep her company. I'm sorry that I'm trying to be a good husband to make up for my own embarrassment that I can't do it myself!

Anyways, you guys have my sympathy.

Watch it be his own car that he accidentally parked illegally.

Could someone theoretically park there illegally, write themselves a ticket, put it on their car then just throw it away after without formally submitting it? Or am I misunderstanding the process?

Now THAT is a program that should be made available nationwide! I would totally sign up for that, as I constantly see idiots parking in those spots without placards or DP plates.

outside the building where the class is taught

"as a way to get out of the house and get some exercise."

This guy gonna be the fittest old dude in Houston.

Grumpiness of old age combined with the righteous determination to eliminate handicap parking scofflaws = buy some good running shoes old dude.

Great idea Houston, hope it catches on in other cities.

It would be better if doctors would take handicap tags more seriously.

My mother-in-law has a tag and used it every chance she gets. She was hurt years ago but she regularly walks miles and runs on her elliptical every day. She even admits that she doesn’t have pain from the old injury but she claims she is justified in still having the tag because sometimes she drives around her autistic grandchild. Even though she will take the handicap spot even if a regular spot is one spot further away. It is basically a point of pride that she is authorized to use them.

I came here to air my grievances with this program.. I received a ticket and a subsequent warrant for parking in a handicapped spot at the Walgreens on quitman back in 2016. My parents who received the notification freaked out and reigned hellfire upon me. I swore up and down it wasn't me and even showed Google location history showing me 45 miles away the whole day in question.. my parents didn't believe me and the city/govt didn't believe my parents.. it was a back and forth ordeal for 6 months before anyone, even with my protesting.. to check the VIN numbers. The license plate was written down wrong and listed as my car.. the VIN number written down was not my cars... It was complete shit. There is no accountability in this program and training is a joke. Why would photographs not be required in 2016 if a non city official or police officer was giving citations to other citizens? I've also heard of people in the heights or montrose also writing tickets to neighbors because they couldn't find parking spots and thought they'd stick it to their neighbors. I would much rather have a team of citizens to liaise with the police on the spot when they see violations than be able to screw up writing down a few numbers and letters. Also.. it's not that big of a deal, I wasn't going to pay the ticket no matter what.. I didn't screw up and I wasn't about to accept punishment for it.

Didn’t know being artistic qualified you as handicap


Only when you try to get a paying job.

Any citizen can do this as long as you are willing to go to court to supply the necessary evidence of the crime when called upon. I've even ticketed police officers... hehe.

So if the person issued the citation contests it will the citizen be subpoenaed to court?

So how do they prevent abuse? If a deputized person wants to be an ass, they could write invalid tickets, for example, to harass someone.

Well done reddit, we are currently discussing on how to make life harder for disabled people. Great job

Not all heroes wear capes.

Ya photos should be a requirement for this type of thing, too much room for abuse or human error.

If they get paper ticket books, each ticket is numbered, so if they request a new book questions might be raised about why the person hasn’t submitted any tickets. Like in a chequebook, you have to mark cheques as spoiled so the bank knows not to expect that cheque to come in for balancing.*

The real dirtbag thing to do would be to steal some other guy’s ticket and just put it on your own car. Presumably cops know about this trick and will check the ticket if they come across an illegally parked car which already has a ticket; or get it towed.

*: This is not how cheques work in the US by the way - I’m not American, and I was assuming too much about how the US banking system works.

But some wear dentures...

If you have a placard it can be dismissed.

Not from Houston, but I assume it works the same way contesting a ticket from an officer does. The issuing citizen is subpoenaed if the ticket is contested, but the ticket is automatically thrown out if the issuing citizen fails to attend the court date. I assume they cover ticket contests in the class, but in the end it's just a cost of participating in the program.

by his sister.. shit would be lit

no, and depends

If you ever see illinois handicap placard.   the numbers stamped vertically are the birth year.   It will help you sometimes if you see some asshole parking out of state and using granny's placard.


Also please don't think because they have no wheel chair they don't need the parking space.  I'm handicap and walk normally fine but I have pop-outs where my body freezes in place for minutes sometimes.   I had an old lady once yell at me and call the cops when she saw me pulling into a handicap spot.  She even chased me around the store.

If you ever see illinois handicap placard. the numbers stamped vertically are the birth year. It will help you sometimes if you see some asshole parking out of state and using granny's placard.

Also please don't think because they have no wheel chair they don't need the parking space. I'm handicap and walk normally fine but I have pop-outs where my body freezes in place for minutes sometimes. I had an old lady once yell at me and call the cops when she saw me pulling into a handicap spot. She even chased me around the store.

What a great program for the city; give people the slightest amount of power over others and they'll do somebody else's work for no pay while bringing in more revenue for the city.

Sounds like a great idea on paper. Sadly, people tend to ruin everything.

Can they check the front seat before they ticket you? I forget to put it on my mirror sometimes.

So just reuse the same ticket ✅

in my experience, older folks are the fucking worst about shit like this. my cousin has a service animal for his debilitating PTSD and anytime we go into a grocery store or something, there’s always some shitty old man who goes out of his way to report that there’s an animal in the store and that ain’t a service dog cus you ain’t blind blah blah blah. absolute cunts.

But if you ticket them and they just throw the ticket out, where is the record of it?

I see so many young (teen) boys shoveling, lawn mowing, etc and no one cares yet if I touch a shovel at work customers complain that I'm being treated unfairly and that a guy should be doing it. Smh when a 12yr old is seen as Hulk and I'm seen as just a worm. Like wtf it's really not that hard.

more revenue for the city.

Portland, OR, used to have this program, but they ended it because it cost them money.

Turns out the elderly busybodies that signed up called the cops on people like 3 times a day.

Ripped up the ticket? Called the cops. Told them to fuck off? Called the cops. Drove away too fast? Called the cops.

The amount of police time they were sucking up dwarfed the revenue. Turning our shrillest senior citizens ('cause those are the only people who do this stuff) into little mini-cops is a nightmare for everyone. Its like dealing with an angry mobile HOA in the grocery store parking lot.

Plus you can always go down to the courthouse and swear out a ticket and if the description matches they'll go ticket them. I imagine they laugh at you in Detroit but in most places you can actually do this, for any traffic offense you witness.

Aren't you supposed to make a copy of each ticket to turn in to a court anyway?

The physical difference between men and women isn't even nearly as large as people want to believe it is. Would anyone get pissy if they saw a 16 year old boy shoveling snow while his 35 year old father watched? Or would anyone have a fit over a muscular 6'4 man taking it easy while an average 5'10 guy shoveled snow?

Is the average citizen going to check?

We just had a huge snowstorm, and people kept parking in the fire zone in front (blocking the only ramp clear of snow). I would have killed to have this app in our area.

What pisses me off is when cops assume you're using someone else's. I think I was 17 at the time, went to the theater, hung up my placard which was in my name, and got questioned by a cop that was in the parking lot over using what he assumed was clearly my grandmother's placard. Had to give him my ID and show that the numbers matched, didn't even get an apology.

I don't know if my old jurisdiction(s) were just unique in this, but I was a cop for quite some time and was NEVER ONCE subpoenaed for a simple traffic / parking violation, even if it was contested.

Our judges always just entered our citation narrative into record as our testimony and the ticket stood (or didn't) based on the merits of our original statement.

I can't imagine being pulled into court for every citation someone plead not guilty to. I already spent enough off-duty time in the court room as it stood just on felonies and DWIs.

People tend to only remember Miserable and My Own Worst Enemy off of Place in the Sun, but the whole album is generally pretty solid, with some real gems like No Big Thing, Quicksand and the title track.

Photos would be a requirement, and also a time stamp via email or text.

The only way to make this work 100% foolproof is to have a App, and issuing tickets we have to be done through the app, scanning the VIN number license plate and photos all time stamped we're GPS location on. This would be undeniable truth.


You could make that argument for cops, couldn't you?

Yeah, I don’t like this one bit, and the comments in this thread are everything I need to convince me this is not a wise policy. There’s too much Batman vigilante justice over parking spaces to even consider nuance.

I've lived in Houston (greater area) for almost 10 years and have only seen someome park in a handicapped without permit once... and they were in a wheelchair, (I assume they just forgot it).

Yeah, one goes to the person giving the ticket and the other copy goes to the offender.

Edit: Giving, not getting

TIL ‘Scofflaw’ * a person who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively.*

This is a new word for me and I like it, thank you very much!

Of course. But cops have more to lose.


I agree with your first statement and I just made a similar comment. I'm a disabled veteran living in Texas and I qualify for disabled veterans license plates that would allow me to park in handicapped parking.

I've had so many people ask why I don't "take advantage" of the opportunity to park closer and it really bothers me. My ailments and their severity ebb and flow and they often make normal day to day activities daunting. However, they certainly don't keep my anxious and hyper-vigilant ass from walking a few more feet.

Not all disabilities should warrant the right to park in handicapped spots and it absolutely should be taken more seriously by the individuals who approve applications.

I also live in Houston and never knew this. I see people without placards or plates park in handicap all the time. It's especially infuriating when I have a special needs daughter and need a space to get her out and into her wheelchair.

I'm sure they're probably within their right to verify that the person using the placard is the person assigned to the placard. Had he given me problems even after seeing my ID, that probably would have been illegal. But IANAL.

that depends

I have a handicapped friend who does this, though it’s through deer park which is a small municipality southeast of Houston. He said the same program goes for Houston as well. The only caveat is that he has to be with someone else trained for the program at the time of writing the ticket

We can achieve anything we put our mind too Reddit! :D

My wife too is a baby black bear. I'm not a small man and I frequently wear myself out trying to keep up. I always think I'm fit until we labor side-by-side. I can pickup a refrigerator, but she can move mountains. Cheers to strong women.

I am just over 6’4” and look perfectly fit, even have a placard that I very rarely use, But even though I look fit I have back injuries that are not apparent from looking at me and am in constant pain. I am often asked for assistance from people while shopping in at a big box store or the grocery store to help them lift or grab something and the look they give me when I have to decline is amazing. I used to feel compelled to run down my medical history bit even that didn’t satisfy many of them so I gave up and keep my responses shorter now. I feel bad as I must appear as an unhelpful ass but I am not going to further injure myself or exasperate my situation to grab a heavy item for them when there are employees that are paid to do that. Initially I found it rude of myself to say no to their requests and would help but after some of the assistance resulted in pain I had to think of myself.

Believe it or not, despite all we read and hear about, cops are way better trained than random dipshit #48375 in America.

Artistic grandkids are definitely the most handicapped

i think that is called a Homeowners Association

Do they also have a program where you can rat your neighbors out to the Stasi if they're reading capitalist literature!?

Does it have a date?

The town where we live does something similar. We have a town watch, that drive around in cars that look exactly like cop cars except they say “Deland City Patrol” they can write fines because they’re sanctioned by the city counsel. But it’s not the same as a traffic ticket, it’s not a criminal offense. It’s more similar to a fine by a city wide HOA. It’s a town in Florida, so the area is very senior oriented. My father in law (who actually is disabled, has heart disease, blood clots, and 20% use of his lungs) went to Walmart last week. He parked in a handicap spot, apparently his little thing that hangs from the rear view mirror fell onto the floor. When we came back an hour later he had, I’m being so serious, FOUR tickets.

TL;DR You’re making a mistake Houston, never give nosey, old, white people an ounce of power.

Guy at my old job had a double bypass. When he was getting released he asked about getting a handicap placard. Doc's words were literally "No, because you had a heart attack because you're in bad shape and need to walk more. Park in the back of the lot."

Paint was almost gone for a handicap spot in my home town. I park in the spot, get out, then realize I had seriously fucked up. So I went back and fixed my mistake. No one really saw me do it but it made me feel good.

Couldn't have killed the people in your town to check is all I'm saying.

In many states, handicap spots are not enforceable without a vertical sign for this very reason. And snow. Doesn't make you not a jerk if you park there on this loophole though.

I volunteer at a steam engine museum, I'm a 25 and healthy looking woman, most of my fellow volunteers are 65+ older men, the "young ones" (65,68) do most of the heavy manual labour and two of the mid-older ones (72, 75) do a bit of gardening, I dust and sweep the shop area.

I get so many visitors asking why I'm so lazy, why I let the poor elderly people do all the hard work.

It's so frustrating to have to choose to disclose my personal medical history to a stranger or be seen as lazy. Every now and then I'll have my crutches, walking frame or leg braces with me, but of course people can't see that when I'm sitting behind the counter.

It's also mildly ablist to assume just because someone is older that they can't move steam engines or garden, these things bring those men so much joy, they'd be annoyed if I did it for them.

One of the reasons I love working there is because the really old volunteers (81,86,90,93) are treated with utmost respect and the workplace is already equipped to have employees with walking frames, and 3 of us have a history of stroke so there's a lot of patience shown towards us.

I've never volunteered somewhere where they truly understand that, yes, I'm young, but I'm not completely able, I'm not here to fully rehabilitate, don't push me to my breaking point so I can go home I'm tears and In a flare, I'm here to live my life so the depression of being disabled doesn't consume me. I like my current role, I don't feel like a burden.

I’d apply for one if I were you, you don’t have to use it but if something came up in the future then it could be helpful

my relative's friendfriend once whacked someone yelling at them for using the handicap place with their prosthetic

Unless I missed something, you just said your friend isn't trained to do this, and the caveat is he has to be with someone who is trained.

Isn't that just how the program works? Only people who are trained can do it?

Be a bit fair.

I have worked in home health and had a few people that I would have to take out. In doing this I had to take my own vehicle but use their placard. That way I could still park in appropriate spaces and have room to transfer them into their chairs.

I've had nasty notes left on my car while taking a gentleman to his local gym to an exercise class.

So while the placard wasn't mine, I had a reason to use it. And yes I know some people abuse their family members. Just saying some of the situations may be valid.

My city just created an app that lets you report any violations you see.

Now this is cool AF.

Edit: This could be expanded to other areas as well, since most of us have GPS enabled phones, it would be great for the app to be used perhaps to report damaged infrastructure, vandalism of government property, street lights not working, no street lights in a certain area, shitty street lights in other areas, really dim street lights, racist street lights etc..

We’ll be watching your career with great interest!

How do you know it's not theirs? I'm blind and when I have my glasses on nobody can tell. You think it's ok for people to get pissed at me if I take the handicap spot just because they don't realize I'm blind? Give me a break!!

Should you be driving if you are blind? Maybe you could do something else like ref hockey?

from his post, it sounds like his disabilities are mental and he feels his symptoms do not make it difficult to walk through a parking lot.

Plus you can always go down to the courthouse and swear out a ticket and if the description matches they'll go ticket them. I imagine they laugh at you in Detroit but in most places you can actually do this, for any traffic offense you witness.

What does this mean? You can just go tell a judge you saw someine broke the law?


I'm 22, have arthritis in both knees, and have made a point to not get a handicap placard purely because even though I qualify I don't need one

Can I just say that this is a terrible idea. We don't need to allow people another excuse for a power trip. Especially in Texas. I'm not defending people who park in handicap spots. But allowing the citizens authority over each other in this manner sucks. We already pay people to do shit like this. And I can't help but feel the people who get excited over this would be the same kind of people who get excited about being selected for jury duty.

Can it be expanded to the idiots in Wal-Mart's fire lane......

You know what to do.

I’m not sure who I hate more here, people who park in handicap spots or all the twats signing up to give out parking tickets (for free no less)

I'm sorry someone so unpleasant was even w/i 20 feet of you

Seems like that would be easy to fight. I remember getting a letter in the mail about a parking ticket that wasn't paid. It was issued in Wisconsin. I lived in IL. Never in my life had I been to WI. I was in class in high school at the time of the ticket. I called and it took 5-6 minutes and a transfer or two but I finally spoke to an officer, gave him my license plate (which I assume he ran as I gave it) and he confirmed my plate was very similar to the car that was ticketed, but a different year, model and make. He apologized and said it would be dropped.

Quirkiness pays bills too... right? Guys?

Honest question: why? You're the very type of person this kind of a program was made for. There's no shame in using a program when you really need it, especially if you're inhibited to the extent of making day to day activities daunting. Like even if you don't need it on a particular day, you could always just elect not to use the handicap space.

edit sorry I misunderstood - in the end of course it's up to you to choose to do what you feel is best for your condition.

That is fucked up, I'm disabled and have a placard and sometimes I forget to put it back on the mirror when I go into stores. She would be keying the car of a disabled extremely poor individual in my case.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to get a wife... You wouldn't believe the abuse I've gotten on dating sites just for being disabled. They didn't even take the time to find out that I'm a huge jerk. Such prejudice, lol.

No I meant to say he’s trained to do it, but he has to be with someone else who is also in the program to write a ticket

What privacy? You (or your car) has no expectation of privacy in public, thus its completely legal to take photographs.

Also, Texas disabled veterans, get your damn disabled vet license plates. You don't need no placard. Free parking at city metered parking and handicap parking.

Oh, and on top of that, free fucking tollways. Seriously, I was out for three years before I found out about the free tollways. I'd been paying $80/month in tolls for 3 fucking years. I don't math that well, but that's like $3000 in tolls.

You're right it doesn't, but as the mother of an autistic child, they can be dangerously unpredictable and the sooner you get in and out of the shops the better. Parking close is also extremely handy if he has a sensory meltdown in the middle of the shop and loses his shit, become violent and I have to pick him up in a bear hug and haul him back to the car. I haven't checked if we qualify for a placard and nor will I, but I certainly try to park as close as possible and avoid taking him any where super busy. If Autism did qualify I can see it be very justified (based on severity).

I've gotten harassed for parking in a handicap spot because I wasn't handicap, but I still had a placard. I was picking up my wife from physical therapy, who is handicap.

Artistic talent is definitely a disability.

This is one ticket that I would never contest. These people are assholes. I had a cast on my foot and realized that there's a huge amount of assholes who take unnecessary parking

Can people learn to ticket blacks for parking in white folks parking spots?

Or is that particular physical discrimination not allowed?