Drivers who park illegally in disabled parking spaces should face “substantially increased fixed charged fines”, according to Social Democrats Roscommon-Galway candidate Ken Campbell, who is calling for the current fine of €80 to be increased.
Mr Campbell is calling on the Minister of State with special responsibility for disabilities, Finian McGrath, and Transport Minister ,Shane Ross, to “substantially increase” the fixed charge fine of €80 for drivers parking, without a valid permit, in spaces designated for disabled drivers.
Mr Campbell, whose daughter with special needs is a disabled permit holder, said the current €80 charge is “not enough of a deterrent” to stop drivers using disabled spaces illegally. He added the fact the gardaí can only issue fines for cars illegally parked in public car parks means drivers “do not face any censure for wrongly parking” in disabled spaces in supermarket car parks and other private facilities.
“Disabled parking spaces shouldn’t just be tokenistic – if supermarkets put them in their car parks, then they should oversee them to make sure they aren’t abused,” he said. “In a car park of 200 parking spaces, the chances are there will be four disabled spots, and because they are in prime locations they are the ones that are abused the most.”
Mr Campbell is calling for a nationwide awareness campaign “to change the mindset of drivers”. As a result he has set up a petition calling for fixed charged fines for parking illegally in all disabled parking spaces. It can be signed at my.uplift.ie/petitions/fixed-charged-fines-for-parking-illegally-in-all-disabled-parking-spaces