Inconsiderate drivers caught illegally parking in disabled car spaces in Queensland will soon cop one of the toughest fines in the country for the offence.
From August 31, fines for using the spaces without a permit will increase from $266 to a whopping $533.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey described drivers who illegally park in disability spaces are “arrogant and selfish” and said it’s behaviour the community doesn’t support.
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“I’ve already written to local councils, major retailers, car park operators and shopping centre groups calling on them to adopt our tougher approach and to work with us to increase enforcement,” Minister Bailey said.
“I urge motorists not to park in a disability parking bay unless they are a permit holder or dropping off or picking up a permit holder.
“If everyone obeys these rules, parking bays will be available to permit holders when they need them.”
It comes after it was today revealed that Queenslanders with vision loss would now also be eligible for disability parking permits for the very first time after the State Government passed major legislative reforms.
“This is a common sense change that will make life easier for thousands of Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
The existing parking scheme only provides parking concessions to people who are either unable to walk and always rely on a wheelchair, or who have a severe restriction to their ability to walk.
“Disability advocacy groups like Guide Dogs and Braille House, and a significant grass roots movement told us of the unique challenges Queenslanders with vision loss faced, and we took action. This is their win,” Mr Bailey said.
“These parking concessions make it possible for permit holders to go about their daily business by providing access to conveniently located bays at shopping centres, hospitals, medical centres, train stations and entertainment venues.”
Queensland now has the third toughest penalty in the country for illegally parking in disabled spots, following the ACT which issues fines of $600 and NSW with $572 fines for the offence.