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Disabled parking: Call for uniformity

2014-07-08 09:10

PARKING BAY DILEMMAS: A meeting later in July 2014 will, it's hoped, resolve issues about bays allocated to disabled drivers and clarify the qualification for a windscreen disc . Image: Shutterstock / Hans Engbers

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The launch of a *phone hotline to report cars parked illegally in bays allocated for disabled people has highlighted further issues regarding such bays.

Parking identity discs for the disabled are regulated by each municipality; rules and penalties vary from town to town.

There is no universal windscreen disc; a person with a disc issued in, say, Welkom, will not be able to use that disc in Bloemfontein.

RAISES MORE QUESTIONS

Therina Wentzel, national director of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa explained:  “Five years ago the council consulted each of the nine provinces about parking discs. The objective was to get the national transport department to implement uniformity."

Wentzel also outlined some of the questions brought by the council:

 • Who qualifies for a disc?
 • What concessions comes with the disc, for example, can a disc-holder only park on a demarcated bay or a loading zone and for how long?
 • Will bays be policed?
 • Are there penalties and are they legal?
 • Are recommendations for the disc made by an expert panel or left to an individual in the traffic department?

'LACK OF CLARITY'

A draft paper was discussed and sent to the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities as well as the national transport department.

A date has been set for mid-July 2014 for a meeting with the council and the transport department to discuss recommendations made by the council and partners such as the QuadPara Association of South Africa and the National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy.

Wentzel said: “We are extremely concerned that many disabled people cannot park in a special bay and that  there is lack of clarity about who qualifies to use bays.

"We hope the meeting with transport department will allow be  an open conversation to get closer to a resolution.”

*Report cars parked illegally in bays allocated for the disabled: 086 167 2226
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Read more on:    gauteng  |  transport  |  disabled people

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