Clampdown on abuse of disability car parks starts
North Shore City media release
Clampdown on abuse of disability car parks starts today
26 June, 2008
Drivers who illegally use Mobility Parks (also known as Disability Parks) in North Shore City will face higher fines from today, and their vehicles will be towed away.
The infringement fees are increasing from $40 to $150 as part of a nationwide clampdown. The level of fines is set and applies nationally through Land Transport Road User Charges.
The illegal use of these parks is of concern across New Zealand because many drivers who have full mobility are ignoring the law and using them.
Research indicates that at least fifty percent of vehicles using them have no right to do so.
Mobility parks are designed to allow easy access in and out of vehicles by people who do not have full mobility. They are wider than other spaces, and ramped for wheelchairs. People entitled to use them generally have no other parking choice.
Only vehicles displaying a permit indicating the driver, or another person in the vehicle, has a disability can park there. The permits are issued and administered by CCS Disability Action, and must be clearly visible on the window or dashboard.
There are 30,000 people with a permit in the Auckland region. CCS Disability Action spokeswoman Candy Smith says the biggest barrier for disabled people trying to go about their everyday lives is abuse of their parking spaces.
“It’s a human rights issue. They can’t park anywhere else. Imagine the frustration at having to drive round and round until a park becomes available. Often, people just give up and go home.”
North Shore City Council has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal use of these spaces on the city’s streets, says Traffic Safety and Enforcement Manager Andre Dannhauser.
“We are going to be very vigilant in stopping the abuse of Mobility Parks. We will have vehicles towed as well as giving them an infringement notice with the higher fine. That could take the cost of illegally parking a vehicle close to $300, depending on the cost of towage.”