Rules and Regulations
The mobility parking permit allows the registered user to park in a mobility parking space, and certain concessions around time restrictions and payment apply, though these vary between councils and regions of New Zealand. Please check carefully. Concessions can be used when a mobility permit is displayed, even if the car is parked in a standard parking space.
When used correctly, the mobility parking permit must be displayed clearly. The more recent versions have a hanger attached so that it may hang from the rearview mirror (though it must be removed from here when driving). Some newer cars have a clip on the inside of the windscreen to hold the permit in place.
The permit can only be used by the registered user, and only when the registered user is getting in or out of the vehicle. If the registered user is staying in the car, then a standard car parking space must be used.
It is the registered users' responsibility to ensure that the permit is used lawfully, else a $150 fine could be enforced. They must also ensure that the permit is valid and up to date. If contact details are kept up to date with CCS Disability Action, then they will send a renewal notice by email and/or post, in plenty of time.
Parking providers also have a responsibility. They need to comply with providing a certain number of mobility parking spaces (dependent on their total number of parks), mark them appropriately, and provide signage. They need to deal with complaints around people who misuse the designated parks.
All too often, I will be passing the fully occupied mobility parks, and notice that a significant number of the vehicles there are not displaying a mobility permit. Now, I am all too aware of ‘invisible disabilities’ (I have taught in special education for over 20 years), so I never judge a person’s eligibility to park in a designated park based on appearance. I do, however, object to cars parking there with no permit displayed.
If I see the driver return to the car with no permit, I will ask “Excuse me, has your mobility parking badge slipped off your dashboard?” This is an inoffensive question, which is not accusatory and should not upset someone who can genuinely answer “Yes”.
Unfortunately, the response is generally either
- Head down, avoid eye contact, drive away quickly
- Smile, say “I was only a minute”, possibly “I’m sorry”
- Laugh/shout, possibly say “tough luck”, drive away with tyres screeching
Things I generally do:
- File a report on AccessAware (free app available for iOs and Android)
- Look for parking signage
- Contact the carpark landlord - phone for immediate towing, and email a complaint
- This could be a council-owned carpark, or signage should state a property management company such as Bayleys, Oyster Management group etc
- Email to include
- Date, time and location of parking misuse
- Whether signage was adequate
- Did it mention penalty?
- Is it easy to find who to phone (I often have to go into a store and ask for their landlord’s details)
- Ask who monitors the carpark, frequency, and what they actually do if they encounter misuse of the mobility parks
- There is a Facebook page that does a wonderful job of advocacy for correct usage of mobility parks - Mobility Parking Action - just ensure that you provide all the details they ask for so they can do their thing. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109505050/meet-the-mobility-parking-vigilantes-taking-big-companies-to-the-human-rights-commission
Please let me know of any ways you have found to deal with this. I fear that this is a life-long battle for some of us.