Drivers get the boot

Nothing is worse than finding a fine notice on your windshield and your wheels locked when you return to your car from a day of shopping.

So why do fit people continue to park in spots reserved for disable people, and even become offensive and obnoxious when caught?

Not even deterrent signs and heavy fines of over $75 seem to have an impact, said operations manager Derek Larner of Management Parking Services, which monitors parking at Foster’s Food Fair.

Officers guarding these spots say people come up with all sorts of excuses for parking there.

‘One annoyed customer even used a hatchet to remove the wheel clamp, another took off the tire, replaced it with a spare, threw the tire with clamp into the back of his car and drove away,’ he said.

‘That one is liable for prosecution because it is theft

‘Some say, ‘oh I will just be a minute, I have to go to the pharmacy, I am just waiting on someone, there was nowhere else to park.’ Some even become very cheeky and say, ‘so what, you see any handicapped persons looking for a space’.’

These are but a few of the excuses security officers usually hear.

‘We do have a lot of trouble when it comes to handicapped parking, said Security Centre Limited CEO Stuart Bostock. ‘Some people just feel that these parking spaces are temporary parking and feel if they are not parking there all day it is fine to do so.

‘All of the handicapped spaces at Foster’s Food Fair are clearly marked.

Vehicles cannot be immobilised or clamped under the law unless sufficient warning signs are posted about the property.

The penalty fees are usually set by business owners in whatever amount they choose.

The main goal of Fosters Food Fair is to keep those spaces available for their disabled customers, said Mr. Larner.

He said offenders range from two to 10 in a day.

‘The planning department does require business establishment to have designated parking spaces for handicapped vehicles,’ said Mr. Ron Sanderson from the Planning Department.

‘It is a requirement under the building code and is addressed through inspection.

‘One handicapped parking space is designated for every 25 parking spaces with the ratio progressing if the amount goes up.

‘Drawings will not get approved without the designated parking spaces so businesses will not get the required certificate to build,’ he said.

Handicap stickers are issued through the licensing department at a cost of $5 when the request form is filled out by a doctor.

Mr. Larner said, ‘What we are telling people is, if they are disabled, get the required plates or tag.

‘Persons need to be aware if they are genuinely disabled we do not want to inconvenience them by putting a wheel clamp on their vehicles.

‘The officer will not know that if you have a bad leg or back so get some papers from the doctors.’

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