Mobility parking scheme revamped

New mobility parking permitNew Zealand’s Mobility Parking Scheme has been revamped with innovations designed in part to help stop motorists abusing the system.

The new permit will include a barcode allowing parking wardens to scan for real-time information, similar to current vehicle licensing technology. The permit holder will also include an expiry date reminding those using the permit and for parking wardens enforcing the scheme.

Changes to the criteria will also make it clearer for people to determine if they are eligible, extend the eligibility to those with behaviour support needs and make the application process easier for all users.

The new scheme has been launched by TV personality and permit holder Graeme Sinclair who regularly travels across the country for filming. “The scheme really is fantastic. I find there are a good number of parks available so, for me, the only frustration is when someone who doesn’t have a permit uses the spaces. I support any changes that will make the scheme easier to police.”

David Matthews, Chief Executive of CCS Disability Action, the organisation which administers the scheme, said a review launched last year found that some people were confused by the criteria. The organisation also receives a large number of complaints about motorists without permits using the parking spaces.

“The technological improvements will result in a fairer scheme for all, supporting faster identification of those lost and stolen permits in circulation.

“This should mean less people being able to abuse the scheme, which is ultimately a great thing for people with a genuine need.”

He added: “For the most part, the scheme is well supported and respected, but there will always be people who abuse the system.

“Our branches receive a number of calls from concerned community members reporting abuse. While we administer the service, local councils provide and monitor public parking spaces. This means that CCS Disability Action doesn’t have any power to enforce the rules for anyone illegally parked in a mobility park.

“While a number of people told us that the current eligibility criteria is confusing, we felt there were people who were missing out who had a genuine need, particularly people who require intensive behaviour support who could really benefit from being able to use designated mobility parking spaces.

Now in its 37th year, the Mobility Parking Scheme supports over 100,000 New Zealanders with mobility issues to access their communities.

Those with an existing Mobility Parking Scheme permit will still be able to continue using it, but the changes will be introduced to new permits this month.

“If a member of the public sees someone using a space that they believe they’re not entitled to, they should write down the vehicle’s registration number and give the information to the relevant parking authority”, said Mr Matthews.

If the space is in a private car park such as a supermarket or shopping mall, people will need to contact the property owner. If it is on-road parking, they will need to contact their local council.

Source: CCS Disability Action