5/8/2006Fort Wayne, Indiana Cashes in on Cancer Patients
Fort Wayne, Indiana starts ticketing seriously ill hospital patients parked in handicapped zones.
The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana is issuing parking tickets to patients who park in handicapped spots while undergoing treatment for serious illness, including chemotherapy. For the fourteen years, Lutheran Hospital staff had monitored the handicapped spots to ensure they were only being used by patients in need. On January 3, however, the city began its parking ticket campaign -- against the hospital's wishes -- that earns $50 for every patient who fails to obtain a state permit before using the spot.
Courtney Clevenger, 20, spends five days each week at Lutheran Hospital and received a ticket even though she has a handicapped sticker from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Clevenger was told she had to make a series of trips to obtain a state permit before she could fight the ticket in court, something she does not have the physical energy to do.
"We've requested we be given an exception," hospital CEO Tom Miller told the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. "We actually went to the city... and were told flat no, it's an ordinance."