NSW has just toughened up its laws on disabled parking infringements with the announcement that offenders will now not only be fined, but also receive licence demerit points.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the new penalties are aimed at reducing the tendency of drivers to illegally park in disabled zones.
"Some drivers selfishly deny vulnerable members of our community close access to buildings and sufficient room to get in and out of their vehicles by illegally parking in a disabled car park.
"From 1 December, anyone caught parking in a disabled car park without a valid mobility parking sticker will not only get a $519 fine - the highest fine for this offence in the country - they will also receive a demerit point penalty.
"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 the drivers ineligible for discounted driver's licence renewal fees and reduced insurance premiums.
"It's hoped that the demerit point will encourage people to use their moral compass and think twice before choosing to park their vehicle illegally in a disabled car parking space," Ms Suitor said.
The new rules impact areas wherever disabled parking offences are currently enforced, whether on a public road or in a car park.
Parkes Shire Council's Manager of Regulation and Compliance, Howard Orr, says that these new rules and penalties apply state wide and will be enforced in both the Parkes CBD area and council public car parks.
"With only a few shopping days left until Christmas, parking in the CBD and council car parks, is at a premium.
"I'd like to remind locals to check the signs and ensure they are obeying all parking rules as our regular enforcement patrols will continue in the lead up to Christmas," Mr Orr said.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services operate a phone service for residents to 'dob in' an offender breaching the NSW Mobility Parking Scheme. The number is 1300 884 899.
Any enquiry in relation to the implementation of the parking enforcement operations should be directed to Council's Planning and Environment Department.