Fines double for disabled parking breaches

Cr Bob La Castra .. “Hey we’re serious”

Fines will double from $150 to $300 for misuse of disability allocated carparks on the Gold Coast, while people with permits may have to show photo ID with their displayed permit.

Chairperson of the council’s Community and Cultural Development committee, Cr Bob La Castra, said the move was to show people that, “Hey, we’re serious about this issue”.

He wanted to make sure the spaces “are left accessible for people who need them”.

Doubling the fines sent a message to people who break the law – it’s “an incentive for people not to do it”, he said.

Councillors approved the fine increase at Tuesday’s meeting. They also decided extra revenue from the fines go to providing better access for the disability sector.

Cr La Castra said the decision was made in conjunction with the Freedom Social Justice Growth (FSG) to combat the abuse of disabled access parking.

He said there were two types of abuse of the system – offenders were able to have their fines waived either by displaying a permit even though there was not a disabled person in the vehicle at the time, or by using another person’s permit to have their fine waived.

A spokesperson from FSG, Amanda Hargreaves, welcomed the council’s tough stand.

“Perhaps the fines that the Gold Coast Council introduce will further deter people from abusing these car spaces and if that is the case, then it is a big win for the people we walk alongside,” she said.

The fee increase puts the Gold Coast fine above Brisbane and Logan’s current fine which is $225.

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