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Service NL
March 28, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister of Service NL:

Accessible Parking Regulations Strengthened

I am pleased to rise today in this Honourable House to announce changes to the regulations to enhance the accessibility of “blue zone” parking spaces for people with mobility disabilities.

Amendments to the Designated Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations will increase fines for illegal parking in designated spaces, without the proper permit, from the current range of $45 to $180 to the new range of $100 to $400. Under these regulations, those without permits, parking illegally in a designated space, will be fined when either a vertical sign or painted parking space is present. The increased fines are designed to act as a greater deterrent against illegal parking in these spaces. The increased fines will come into effect on April 1, 2012.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the changes to parking fines, we have also made changes to the Buildings Accessibility Regulations. These amendments require that accessible parking signage and painted parking spaces be made permanent, visible to the public and in good repair. These regulations came into effect for new and proposed buildings on February 15, 2012. Existing properties which are subject to the Buildings Accessibility Regulations will be required to comply by September 30, 2012.

Under the previous regulations, the requirements for permanent placement of these signs were not clear. In some instances, signs were being moved for snowclearing and not properly replaced. This led to issues with enforcement, and caused problems for drivers who were unable to identify these spaces when parking.

We have also encouraged municipalities to bring their parking fines in line with our new regulations, and we are working with law enforcement agencies on the implementation of these important changes to the regulations.

As a government Mr. Speaker, we are committed to working closely with the community of persons with disabilities. Through this relationship we have heard the needs and concerns of people with mobility disabilities, and we have responded by making changes to the regulations. Our government's commitment is strong. Our actions reflect that commitment. And we will continue our work to ensure inclusion for all.

Thank you Mr. Speaker

2012 03 28             2:55 p.m.

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