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In the UK, the Echo reports that Tesco plans to fine shoppers the equivalent of as much as $85 if they park in spaces reserved for the disabled or new parents.

According to the story, "Tesco staff will catch the culprits via a smartphone app that they use to take photos. The new initiative has been trialled at 81 supermarkets and will be coming to a further 200 stores in the near future."

A Tesco spokesperson says that "many disabled customers rely on our disabled parking bays, so we’ve introduced our self-monitoring initiative to highlight the importance of using the bays properly, making it fairer and easier for everyone to find a space."

Tesco says it won't make any money on the fines, but will just use the proceeds to fund the enforcement program.
KC's View:
I'm a person who believes in following these sorts of rules. If I'm driving my Mustang, I don't park in spaces reserved for fuel-efficient vehicles. If I'm alone, I don't park in spaces reserved for people in carpools. I never park in spaces reserved for pregnant women. It seems to me that these are all perfectly legitimate rules, and I think that by following them, I contribute to a move civil society.

Now, not everybody feels this way. This issue came up years ago on MNB in a different context, and I can remember some folks saying that such rules seem arbitrary, and therefore not worth following.

But while I may disagree, I'm not sure that trying to impose such fines on people is a particularly smart idea. A civil society depends on people willing to be civil, and all the fines in the world won't make a difference ... and only serve to alienate customers. That's rarely a very good idea.