Insensitive drivers are about to come under the watchful eye of the Government.
Minister Arden McLean has made it clear that the new Government is no longer going to tolerate drivers who ignore handicapped parking signs and designated spots.
More often than not these spaces are filled with vehicles that belong to healthy people capable of parking at a correct spot in the car park.
Instead of parking where they should, taking advantage of a little exercise by actually walking a short distance to the establishment they’re visiting, they pull their vehicles in to the handicapped space because it is closer to the building and, therefore, more convenient.
And it’s not just the average citizen taking part in the parking offence. Government and business vehicles have been seen taking up the spaces reserved for those with true disabilities.
Parking in a space reserved for those with handicaps is beyond insensitive; it’s rude.
Right now the law falls under the Planning Department.
New legislation – once it’s introduced and approved – would give the police the ability to enforce the law with fines and issue decals for cars transporting disabled people.
Until the law is passed, some caring retailers like Foster’s Food Fair have taken matters into their own hands, hiring security guards to watch the handicapped designated parking spaces and boot the wheels of the cars of offenders.
It’s a pity that retailers have to take the issue on themselves and that Government finds it necessary to pass legislation to stop the insensitive practice.
To those who make it a point to park in handicapped designated spots, take a long look in the mirror and think about the future.
One day you might be that person who has a disability who needs to park in the designated spot. What will you do when an otherwise healthy individual is filling the space with his or her car?
Like all matters with police, once the Government enacts the law, the public will have to be vigilant and let police know when the parking spaces are being violated.
Kudos to this Government for realizing there is a problem and making an effort to correct a bad situation.