Parking message not getting through

The number of infringements the Dunedin City Council has issued for parking in mobility parks...
The number of infringements the Dunedin City Council has issued for parking in mobility parks without a permit has not changed drastically in the past five years. Photo by Jonathan Chilton-Towle.
Dunedin's able-bodied residents do not seem to be getting the message that they should not park in disabled car parks.

Figures obtained by The Star show the number of infringements given to drivers parking in a mobility car park without a permit have not changed drastically during the last five years.

Between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, 181 infringements were handed out, and between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, there were 236.

Numbers declined slightly with 149 infringements being given out between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, and 148 being given out in the same period in 2012 to 2013.

As of March 31, 2014, 96 infringements had been given out.

Disabled Persons Assembly kaituitui (community networker) Chris Ford said disabled people, especially those with mobility issues, relied upon mobility car parks to participate in the community.

It was wrong to think it was OK to use the car parks because there were few disabled people and the parks were only used infrequently, he said.

''When disabled people need the parks, they really need them,'' he said.

In many cases, if a person could not find a mobility park they would have to travel kilometres to find another, or even turn around and go home.

Mr Ford was pleased the council was enforcing the mobility parks but said it was up to everybody to recognise that disabled people needed the parks.

A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said enforcement had changed during the past two years.

''If a vehicle is parked on a mobility park and has a driver in attendance, then the parking officer must request compliance [for the vehicle to move off]. If the vehicle is unattended or if immediate compliance is not achieved, a ticket is issued,'' she said.

The fine is $150.


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