Drivers will soon be slapped with a massive fine for parking in disabled spots throughout Queensland without the required permit as the government cracks down on the misuse of the spaces.
Under new rules announced this week, drivers will be charged $533 for illegally parking in disabled parking spaces, doubling the current $266 fine. The law changes, supported by the Palaszczuk government, are some of the toughest in the country with other states and territories enforcing much more lenient fines.
In Victoria, you’ll face a fine of $165 for parking in a disabled spot without a permit, while in Western Australia and South Australia, fines are charged at $300 and $390 respectively. Meanwhile, New South Wales charges the highest amount for the misuse of the space with a fine of $572.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey deemed the behaviour of drivers who take up disability parking spots when they’re not entitled as arrogant and selfish.
“Drivers who illegally occupy disability parking spaces should expect to be harshly penalised,” he said in a statement. “If you do it, you will pay dearly for it.”
Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has also decided to include vision-impaired people in the list of those who can use disabled parking spots.
Currently in Queensland a person’s eligibility for a disability parking permit is based on their functional ability to walk. However, Bailey said it’s time to change the laws which have been in place since 1998.
Coralee O’Rouke, minister for communities, disability services and seniors, agreed and said it’s a common-sense recommendation that came from an independent assessment of the current system which began in February.
“The changes will bring Queensland into line with New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, which both include legal blindness as a criterion in their permit schemes,” she said.
“It will ensure people with vision impairment and their carers are supported with safer and more convenient access in car parks across the state.”