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Parking officers want to stamp out mobility cheats

Parking officers want powers to enforce the law on all parked cars including shopping malls to stamp out mobility cheats

New Zealand Parking Association chairman Colin Waite wants parking wardens to be given additional powers to enforce the law on all parked cars including those in shopping malls to stamp out mobility parking cheats.

The law should change so all illegally parked cars in mobility parks come under the umbrella of parking officers, New Zealand Parking Association chairman Colin Waite said today.

He was speaking at the parking association’s 23rd annual conference in Invercargill.

``This would be all encompassing and include every aspect of the actual parking space itself. I would also like to see the infringement fee ($40) increased to where it is punitive and a penalty for those who abuse the scheme.

``We need to get real and have a decent sanction for those who offend. Our $40 is chicken feed compared to England & Scotland $2926.50, New South Wales $454 to $545 and Chicago $784.25. ‘’

He urged the parking association to fully support CCS NZ (formerly Crippled Children’s Society) in their immediate submissions to the Ministry of Transport.

Mr Waite said the parking association should engage with other lobby groups for the disabled and present a united voice to lawmakers on what was needed to make the current scheme into a well managed and enforceable entity.

He accepted there would be a degree of resistance if parking officers enforced mobility parking spaces on private roads and private car parks.

``At the moment we are powerless to enforce in private car parks. But let us as an association see red over the abuse of the orange card and not give a green light to those lazy, arrogant, heartless cheats who prey upon the mobility impaired by knowingly parking in spaces where they are not entitled.’’

He labelled the offence and abuse of able bodied people parking in mobility spaces as vile.

``While there is appreciable abuse of these parking spaces by the general public, and you will be dismayed at the level of abuse, not only by the public but also by entitled cardholders.

Peter Wilson, the CCS mobility parking manager, will be presenting research statistics at the conference.

Parking has become a major issue in New Zealand's cities and more than a million parking fines are issued in New Zealand every year.

Delegates representing over 45 local authorities, airport companies and major car park operators are attending the four-day conference.

Car-parking rates as one of the issues of the 21st century and Waite said the problem was not confined to big cities as it regularly reared its head in smaller towns, with local councils debating over inconsiderate drivers parking illegally for hours in restricted areas.


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