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D-Day for non-entitled drivers in mobility spaces

Media release – June 24, 2008

D-Day for non-entitled drivers in mobility spaces

Thursday is D Day for lazy and self-centred New Zealand motorists who unlawfully park in mobility spaces, New Zealand Parking Association Chairman Colin Waite said today.

Those motorists found parking in a disability parking space and not displaying a permit will soon find their behaviours becoming quite expensive.

New legislation comes into force on Thursday which means people who park illegally in an on-street mobility impaired parking space, will face a fine of $150, up $110 from the current fine of just $40.

The only people allowed to use car parks for the mobility impaired, are people or drivers whose disabilities meet a strict criteria and who cannot walk unaided, or have extreme difficulty in walking and are displaying recognised parking permits.

The reserved car-parks are larger than standard parks, to allow room to unload wheelchairs or other mobility aids, from vehicles.

Waite said the New Zealand Parking Association fully endorsed the tougher fines.

``It is infuriating for disabled people to see people abusing these special parking spaces. This tougher fine should significantly reduce the problem for them,’’ Waite said.

CCS Disability Action who manages one of the approved schemes has worked for a number of years with the Parking Association to bring the new parking rules and penalties into existence. Waite said cheating motorists might think twice about parking illegally in future.

``I also want to emphasise that there is an onus on mobility card holders to display their permits correctly. If we want the parking officials to support us, they must do their part too.

``I will be recommending to parking wardens around New Zealand to adopt a zero tolerance to mobility parking offending. Councils are already ticketing and towing offending vehicles from disability parking spaces.

The issue of mobility parking will be among issues discussed at the 25th New Zealand parking conference in Taupo in October.


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