Friday, November 11, 2005

Interesting Irish Parking Story

See this dispatch:

An organisation working with older people has criticised Dublin City Council's proposal to charge people with disabilities for parking.

Age Action said the move could seriously affect older people who are frail or disabled.

Enable Ireland, who work with people with disabilities said the proposal would be 'a backward step'.

However, the Irish Wheelchair Association welcomed the city council's plans, saying the disabled parking permits system was being widely abused.
For additional detail, see this story, which begins:

Dublin City Council is proposing to start charging disabled people for parking in an attempt to stop what it says is the "wholesale abuse" of the disabled parking permits system.

The number of family and friends misusing the free parking permits was causing "serious concern" among local authorities, the city's director of traffic, Owen Keegan, said last night.

Evidence had also emerged that permits were being stolen for use by able-bodied drivers and, in the event of a disabled person's death, their next-of-kin often did not surrender the permit but continued to use it on their own vehicles, he said.

Doctors were also implicated by Mr Keegan in the abuse of the system. To qualify for a permit an applicant must have a medical certificate signed by their GP confirming their disability. There was evidence, he said, that GPs were signing forms for people who were not disabled or doctors were being "overly generous" in their assessments of the patient's condition.

The system was impossible to enforce because permits were not restricted to a particular registration number but could be used in any vehicle in which the holder was travelling.


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