By Ana Novais
In 2018, there was a rise in the fixed charge for drivers who park in a disabled zone without a licence, from €80 to €150. However, that still hasn’t stopped people from using these spaces illegally.
The number of vehicles that were clamped for not displaying a disability badge while parked in disabled parking bays during the period January to November 2019 is 361, according to information obtained from Dublin City Council under the Freedom of Information Act.
Speaking to TheCity.ie, Mick Keegan, Chair ofLabour Disability Ireland said: “It’s great that they are clamping cars for parking in disabled space. People with disabilities need those spaces.”
Wheelchair user and disability activist Sean O’Kelly (26) from Dalkey, said: “I feel there should be strict regulations regarding the misuse of parked cars in disabled spaces.”
“To all of you reading this, put yourself in my shoes. Think again before parking in a disabled space either in private or public grounds”
However, clamping vehicles doesn’t solve this ongoing issue for Sean, as he finds it causes more problems for those with legitimate blue badges who are genuinely looking for a disabled parking space.
“To all of you reading this, put yourself in my shoes. Think again before parking in a disabled space either in private or public grounds,” he said.
The parking card scheme is run by the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association. Cards are issued to those who meet the medical eligibility criteria.
Elaine J Richardson, volunteer at Spinal Injuries Ireland said: “The only people who should park in disabled parking spaces are those who hold a blue badge. Disabilities are different – no two people have the same disability.
She continued that people who use the spaces to “pop into the shop or post office” need to be publicly shamed: “It’s gone too far with just a fine or some points on their licence. Enough is enough.”