‘Operation Enable’ is a multi-agency initiative between An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council, Dublin Street Parking Services, the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland and Irish Wheelchair Association.
The campaign took place throughout Dublin today (Wednesday, 1st March 2017) with the objective to remind motorists to respect the disabled accessible parking bays in Dublin City Centre and to prompt disabled permit holders to respect the conditions attached to the permits.
Permit Holders in Dublin
Wheelchair parking bays in Dublin City Council Boundary Area
€80 fine for misuse
From 7.00am on Wednesday, 1st March 2017, An Garda Síochána (Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR)Traffic Division); Dublin City Council, Dublin Street Parking Services, the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) joined forces to combat the ongoing issues surrounding the misuse of disabled parking bays .
Currently, approximately 20,000 individuals living in Dublin have a Disabled Drivers Parking Permit, which are issued by IWA and the DDAI on behalf of the Department of Transport. However, there are only 740 public parking spaces located throughout the Dublin Metropolitan Region. Misuse of both the permits and spaces is widespread, and frequently reported by IWA’s membership nationwide.
#OperationEnable has two main objectives:
Remind motorists to respect the wheelchair accessible parking bays in Dublin City Centre
Prompt Disabled Parking Permit holders to respect the conditions attached to the Parking Permit
Speaking about the issues, Tony Maher, IWA Transport Manager said:
The availability of wheelchair accessible parking spaces is an essential lifeline for motorists with disabilities. Far too often these spaces are occupied by able bodied motorists. Irish Wheelchair Association appreciates the ongoing support of An Garda Síochána in tackling this completely inappropriate behaviour.
It is an offence to park a vehicle in an accessible parking bay unless you have a current, valid, Disabled Parking Permit. If you illegally park in an accessible parking bay, you will incur a fine of €80.00, with 28 days to pay. If you fail to pay that fine within 28 days, the fine increases to €120.00
The misuse or duplication of a Disabled Parking Permit may constitute a criminal offence which under the Road Traffic Act is punishable by a fine of up to €2000 or three months imprisonment.
Richard Ryder, marketing manager with the Disabled Drivers Association said:
From our research, the most common non-aggressive excuse for ‘invading’ an accessible space for disabled drivers is ‘I’ll only be a minute’, but that’s never the case and illegal parking like this causes genuine misery. Another commonly used excuses are 'I'll move if somebody comes along and wants the space' or ‘I’ll park where I like’ both showing a total disregard for drivers who need those spaces the most.
Operation Enable is the first initiative of its kind and deemed a huge success raising awareness and deterring motorists from misusing parking bays. It is hoped that the operation will be rolled out nationwide in the future.
Learn more about the Parking Permit and IWA's Driving & Passenger resources.