Fines don’t work. What about some meaningful community service?
This really is an area that has fallen through the cracks of every society on the planet. The problem is universal. Where there are parking bays for people living with disabilities and mobility issues, there will be individuals without mobility issues of any description occupying these bays.
These random pictures off the internet illustrate a truly disgusting element of this problem: the majority of these vehicles are high-end luxury vehicles. The owners must be wealthy to super- wealthy. The other vehicles are almost all service or delivery vehicles. In some cases, you’ll notice that the vehicles straddle two bays.
How arrogant and what delusions of entitlement and grandeur must you be under to behave in this manner? To actively decide that you and your convenience supersede the needs of people with mobility issues is truly incredible.
The service and delivery vehicle drivers are just as much at fault. There are delivery areas and loading zones set aside for them, so there is no excuse for them using bays reserved for people with mobility issues.
The question has to be asked: Why is this problem so prevalent?
The short answer: There is no effective deterrent.
Where offences are committed on city or state property, the drivers are breaking by-laws and are open to being fined.
Unfortunately, on private property – in the parking lots of shopping centres, housing estates and industrial estates it is not an offence and as with trespass, you cannot be prosecuted. The most the owner or supervisor can do is ask the offender to move their car.
Clearly fines and release fees after being clamped mean nothing to the people who drive super-expensive cars and speaking to them abrasively or cordially means even less.
Maybe the answer is to hit them where it hurts: take their time and their right to free movement away from them. A spell of community service in a rehab unit or an emergency room might give them the insight they need to improve their behaviour in society.
In the meantime, we need to take a leaf out of the book of the people of Toowoomba in Australia and come up with some novel ways to get the message across. They commandeered a shopping centre parking area to make their point. Unfortunately this inconveniences everybody, not just the pirates. But it spreads the word and graphically makes the point .