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Disability Group Calls for Mobility Parking to Be Extended

Press Release – CCS Disability Action

New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisation CCS Disability Action today called for the mobility parking scheme to be extended to commercial premises CCS Disability Action said it has strong support among retailers and building …MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

31 July 2012

Disability Group Calls for Mobility Parking to Be Extended

New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisation CCS Disability Action today called for the mobility parking scheme to be extended to commercial premises

CCS Disability Action said it has strong support among retailers and building owners for a consistent nationwide approach to policing mobility parking.

The majority of retailers and building owners it has surveyed are unaware that the present legislation only applies to public, not private areas such as retail grounds.

While the Building Code requires that public buildings are accessible for disabled people, including providing mobility parking, the monitoring and enforcement of the mobility parks is in fact the responsibility of the property owner

Legislation states that vehicles can only park, stop or stand in a mobility park if the driver or a passenger is disabled and a current disabled person’s parking is displayed. The mobility parking scheme, is administered by CCS Disability Action and provides over 100,000 permits.

David Matthews, Chief Executive of CCS Disability Action, said: “We believe that the rules should be extended to private areas and we’re pleased to see this view supported by the bulk of those we surveyed.”

CCS would not only like to see clarity and consistency around the regulations, but is calling for a nationwide move to international best practice standards in mobility parking as a proven way to encourage social change.

“Evidence clearly indicates that mobility parking signage with a clear message on who can use the parks, combined with painting the parks blue to increase their visibility, reduces their misuse,” said Mr Matthews.

“We believe this would make a huge difference to the lives of everyday New Zealanders who have a disability.

“We’re very proud to be associated with the scheme because it truly transforms the ability of those with a disability and the elderly to engage with their local communities.”

He added: “We see it breaking down barriers to inclusion every day. It’s an issue that generates a lot of passion. In fact, we’ve had local councillors publically calling for those who regularly breach the scheme to have their cars crushed.

“While we’re pleased that New Zealanders generally accept that taking the parks of those people with a genuine need is not ok, we believe stronger and more consistent action is required.

“With one in five people in New Zealand affected by a disability or impairment, this is an issue that is likely to affect us all at one point in our lives.

“We believe that New Zealanders support the rights of people with a disability to be able to easily access their local shops and services, but there will always be individuals who think that by using a disabled car park for a few minutes it won’t have an impact. They don’t realise that it’s actually hugely disempowering to have barriers based on driver attitudes in play on a daily basis.

“Many retailers are doing a fantastic job of providing, monitoring and enforcing use of these carparks. With such high numbers of people affected by access issues, it’s not only a social but an economic issue for them.”
ends

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