NSW To Hand Out Demerit Points To Disabled-Parking Cheats Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Dec, 04 2014 | 8 Comments

Drivers in New South Wales who illegally park in spaces reserved for the disabled will soon face a demerit point penalty, along with the existing fine.

A single demerit point will now be added to an offender’s record when they misuse a disabled parking space, and the fine is $519.

Other states - including Queensland and Western Australia - have sought to discourage able-bodied motorists from using disabled spaces by increasing fines in recent years.

But NSW is the first to implement the additional discouragement of a demerit point penalty, which Roads Minister Duncan Gay says will stamp out the “irresponsible and rude” practice.

“I have made it very clear I’m outraged by able-bodied people who steal disabled car parks just to make their life easier,” Mr Gay said.

“These people selfishly deny vulnerable members of our community close access to buildings and sufficient room to get in and out of their vehicles - they are low-lifes, simple.”

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Mr Gay said fines alone have been insufficient as a deterrent, despite NSW having the highest fine in Australia for the offence.

The Minister further cleared the issue by stating that the new rules would impact areas “wherever disabled parking offences are currently enforced, whether on a public road or in a car park”.

This does, however, leave a ‘grey area’ around disabled parking spaces on private property, where a business has sought to enforce its own parking rules when offering parking to customers.

“Drivers who think about parking illegally in disabled car parks need to know the demerit point penalty can contribute towards licence suspension and also make drivers ineligible for discounted driver’s licence renewal fees and reduced insurance premiums,” Mr Gay said.

“The demerit point will hopefully help people use their moral compass and think twice before choosing to park their vehicles illegally in a disabled car park.”

A phone service exists for motorists to ‘dob-in’ an offender breaching the NSW Mobility Parking Scheme. The number is 1300 884 899.

Images via Hadl Zaher and Andrew J. Cosgriff

MORE: Sydney Drivers Paying ‘More For Less’ With Parking - NRMA
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