Lawmakers Want Crack-Down On Private Parking Abuses
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 5, 2004
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND--The law here protects parking spaces designated for people with disabilities -- when those spaces are on public roads or parking lots.
If those reserved spaces are in private parking areas, however, it is up to the property owners to enforce their polices.
Two Members of the Scottish Parliament are trying to change that.
MSP Duncan McNeil claims that one in five designated spots at supermarket parking lots and other private bays is being "hijacked" by drivers he calls "space invaders".
"Disabled drivers from across my constituency express to me their frustration, not just at the bone-idle and selfish 'space invaders' who abuse disabled parking space, but at the apparent reluctance of car park owners to enforce their own parking policy," he told the BBC.
Mr. McNeil wants the law expanded to fine people who abuse such private parking spaces.
"If we cannot make the present system work, perhaps it is time to go beyond appealing to people's better nature and start appealing to their pockets."
MSP Johann Lamont wants a full-scale investigation into the problem, followed by a "comprehensive awareness" campaign.
"The accounts of intimidation and neighborhood conflict which some of my most vulnerable constituents relate to me are, frankly, deplorable." she said. "Their only crime is to be sufficiently infirm to require a disabled parking space outside their homes."
Baywatch, a group that monitors parking abuses, recently found that 21 percent of parking spots reserved for persons with disabilities at supermarkets did not have approved parking badges.