The fixed charge penalty for able-bodied drivers parking in disabled spaces increased from €80 to €150 at the beginning of this month.
Able-bodied people who park in these spaces are making life more difficulty for those who need our support most. The Programme for Government negotiated by myself and my colleagues in the Independent Alliance underlined our firm commitment to do everything we can to help people with disabilities.
Motorists will have 28 days to pay the €150 fine after which it will increase to €225 for the following 28 days. Drivers who still fail to pay the fixed penalty will face court proceedings.
The parking scheme is administered by the Disabled Drivers Association (DDA) and the Irish Wheelchair Association. People with disabilities can download or obtain a form from the DDA which must then be certified by a doctor and countersigned by a Garda. Those who meet the medical eligibility criteria will then receive a permit card.
The card can be used by either a driver or passenger with disabilities but it must be displayed at all times. It is not permitted for use by friends or able-bodied relatives for their own benefit. It is also an offence to forge or alter the permit or to lend it for use to anyone but the holder.