GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Illegally parking in handicapped spaces carries a big fine, but some do it anyway. A Wayne County man is on a mission to stop people from taking those spaces away from people who really need them.
When George Wood sees a nonhandicapped person park in a handicapped space, he said his blood boils. Wood said he became so fed up that he came up with the idea of a volunteer citizens patrol force.
If the Goldsboro City Council buys into the plan, volunteers would patrol streets and parking lots looking for people misusing the parking spaces.
"You're going to run into the building for two minutes. In that two minutes, you could have deprived two, three, four people that space," Wood said.
Wood wants volunteers to take a picture of each violator's license plate and a wider picture to show the car's illegally parked. The pictures would go to the police, so they could write a citation.
Linda Jones relies on handicapped parking and hopes the volunteer patrol goes through.
"I think it's good because if I had to park a long way with back problems, it would be bad," he said.
Wood said even though the city has not approved the patrol yet, he is already watching for law breakers. He warns anyone who does not need a handicapped parking space to stay out even if no one is watching.
"If I see you, I will talk to you," Wood said. "Let your conscience be your guide if you have a conscience."
Goldsboro Mayor Al King has appointed someone to look at the project with Wood. He also plans to take the idea to the county next month. Wood said the idea came from a group in South Carolina that is already up and running.