A multi-agency initiative has been launched in Dublin to remind motorists of the need to respect Disabled Parking Bays in Dublin city centre and to remind Disabled Parking Permit holders of the need to respect the conditions attached to the permits.
407-Sergeant Peter Woods, DMR Traffic Division, Dublin Castle with Niall McDonnell, MAATS administrator, National Mobility Centre, Irish Wheelchair Association and Louise Bruton, freelance journalist and writer of the ‘Legless in Dublin’ blog.
An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council, Dublin Street Parking Services, the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) have launched Operation Enable, to remind motorists of the need to respect the Disabled Parking Bays in Dublin City Centre and to remind Disabled Parking Permit holders of the need to respect the conditions attached to the permits.
With the increased volume of traffic and the ongoing construction projects in Dublin City Centre at the moment, on-street parking is at a premium. An unfortunate consequence of this has been an upsurge in both motorists illegally parking in disabled parking bays and also instances of people misusing the parking permits themselves.
All the agencies involved in ‘Operation Enable’ are urging motorists not to block access to disabled bays. Tony Maher, National Transport Manager for the Irish Wheelchair Association states that “The availability of wheelchair accessible parking spaces is an essential lifeline for motorists with disabilities. Far too often these spaces are occupied by able bodied drivers.”
Richard Ryder, Marketing Manager for the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland adds that “The most common excuse given by motorists illegally parking in disabled bays is ‘I’ll only be a minute’ or ‘I’ll move if somebody comes along” adding “That’s never the case however and illegal parking like this causes genuine misery.”
Sergeant Peter Woods, DMR (Traffic) Division in Dublin Castle advises that this public appeal to motorists to respect the disabled parking bays in the city-centre will be followed up by targeted enforcement and adds that those who break the rules can expect to be prosecuted. “We will be working closely with Dublin City Council and Dublin Street Parking Services and actively checking permits and enforcing the regulations in respect of the Disabled Parking Bays in the city-centre area.”
The offence of illegally parking in a disabled bay is dealt with by way of a fixed charge notice for €80, rising to €120 if not paid in the first 28 days. If still unpaid after 56 days, a summons to Court is issued with a possible fine of up to €1,000 on conviction.
It is an offence to forge or fraudulently alter any permit, or fraudulently lend to or allow a permit to be used by any person other than the holder. An offence of this nature is subject to a maximum fine of €2,000 and or three months imprisonment.