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Calls for better mobility parking enforcement

File photo/SunLive.

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.

Claire Dale suffers pain simply to walk and told RNZ’s 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 per cent of the time is verbal abuse.

"Mobility parking is so badly enforced, I negotiated with the ministry of transportation staff as to what they would accept on a petition."

"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."

Claire 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 says.

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 says.

Claire says 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."         

-RNZ

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4 Comments
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@Yadick

Posted on 28-08-2021 19:09 | By morepork

I understand your feeling and enjoyed your well-written post. If we need to show real seriousness, I’d say instant $500. That would make people think twice (especially after one or two are caught and have to pay it...). But the real solution is to get people to NOT want to use such spaces, not through fear of a fine, but because we should aspire to be better than that. If the gang member violations are frequent, you should definitely report it to the cops. I’ve had occasions where I was late for a meeting and there was a disabled space right where I needed to be, but I have never taken advantage of it. I’d rather explain why I was late, and encourage others to do the same.

Bigger fines? Better enforcement?

Posted on 28-08-2021 19:00 | By morepork

That’s endorsing failure. Why doesn’t anyone think about changing minds? Most people are decent. They are in a hurry and if they are accosted they defend themselves, but they know deep down, they are wrong. I have confronted people in this situation (I have never been pushed as I am 6 feet tall and would be likely to respond in kind...) and just said quietly: "Aren’t you glad you have two legs and can walk a little further from your car park? Think about someone who can’t..." I have had the same excuses, but you can also see the wheels turning and maybe they are not so quick to be greedy next time... We all live under pressure and sometimes it makes us forget who we are. Don’t be "that guy..." Rejoice in a healthy, unimpaired body and think about others, who are less fortunate. Consideration costs nothing.

Mobility Scooter Access

Posted on 28-08-2021 13:21 | By

Let’s also clear Mount Main Street footpaths of lime scooters which are abandoned, often not even upright, blocking mobility scooter access.

Absolutely

Posted on 28-08-2021 09:32 | By

I back this all the way. Greater enforcement and a change to the law to bring every mobility park under the same law needs to be made. Outside Countdown Fraser Cove is a real shocker for it. Gang members and others park there illegally all the time and blatantly don’t give a care in the world. If I blocked them from parking in their driveway there’d be hell to pay. People who park in disability carparks are nothing but arrogant,thoughtless and self-centered mongrels. They’re not for drop off, pick up or drop kicks. No, I do not need one of these carparks and God forbid the day I do. I really feel for those that do need them and are blocked by a self-centered, self-entitled, arrogant driver. Should be an instant $300 fine.