27 Aug 2021

Petition calls for better mobility parking enforcement

1:44 pm on 27 August 2021

A woman who has been shouted at, even pushed, when challenging people who use mobility parks without a permit is seeking bigger fines and better enforcement.

Car park for a disabled person.

Car park for a disabled person. Photo: 123rf

Claire Dale suffers pain simply to walk and told Morning Report she had been subjected to abuse by those using mobility parking spaces while not showing a permit.

"If the person comes back to the car I would very politely and very quietly ask them to move to a non-mobility parking location or put their permits up ... the response over 90 percent of the time is verbal abuse.

"They just yell, they're entitled. 'I'm just dropping someone off; I'm just getting my coffee; you can just ask me to move if you need the park'. There are very few people I know that qualify for a mobility parking placard who are in a position to be able to hop out of their car and ask these people to move. I have been pushed."

She has been working for years to improve the situation, and has now started a Parliamentary petition calling for bigger fines and better enforcement.

"At the moment if parking spaces are on privately owned land they are excluded from the law for enforcement, which means it can be very difficult to get anyone to come and do something about it," she said.

That includes areas like airports, hospitals, supermarkets and shopping malls, and enforcement there is only possible through the owners.

"What shopping mall owner is going to make sure they have an enforcement team in place? They just think it will scare away the customers."

People need to pay $50 and get an assessment from their doctor to get a permit.

Enforcement in public areas, run by local councils, was also not always available to call on outside of business hours, she said.

Dale said she had asked the minister for fines for using a mobility parking space without a permit to be increased to $1500.

The petition was also calling for equal enforcement - perhaps through a law, rather than a bylaw - and an education campaign to help the public understand the difficulty mobility-impaired people faced when these carparks were taken.

"The conditions that we have to put up with are despicable."

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