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Questionable use of disabled parking ID cards

Concerns have been raised that “unscrupulous” family members of people with disability could be using their relatives’ disabled parking ID cards in order to use parking spaces specially marked for people with disability.

And local officials who have a vested interest in the disabled community are not pleased that there seem to be an increase in the number of residents who are doing such.

The vexing issue was raised during the Barbados Tourism Product Authority’s (BTPA) Accessible Barbados Symposium panel discussion on the topic Universal Access: Is the Tourism Sector Ready? at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Friday.

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Officials attending the forum agreed that in addition to dealing with stigma and discrimination in Barbados, people with disability also often times had to battle for parking spaces and it was not fair.

Raising questions as to the authenticity of some of the Parking IDs, which bare a wheelchair symbol and various colours depending on the disability, at least two operators of companies that transport people with disabilities questioned if residents were getting away with fake cards similar to those issued by the authorities.

“I have seen a significant increase in the number of those parking signs,” pointed out Michael Holder, managing director and owner of Blessed Rentals.

Confirming that there appeared to be an increase in the number of people with vehicles baring the wheelchair symbol, administrative project officer at the Barbados Council for the Disabled Roseann Foster-Vaughan said it was due to family members using the cards of disabled relatives without having them in the vehicle.

“Whoever you see with it could only get them if they bring a doctors certificate. But what is happening is when you have unscrupulous family members that take up the sign, they don’t have the individual in the car, but they use it. That is when you see the discrepancy,” she said.

As per the Road Traffic Act, it is illegal for anyone who is not disabled to park or block access to the parking spot marked for people with disability.

People with disability are issued with specially marked parking identification cards once they have presented a doctor’s report confirming their disability.

It is not known exactly how many people are currently living in Barbados with a disability. However, some officials put the figure at just over 3,000.

Other issues identified during the discussion included a lack of legislation to protect and improve some services for people living with disabilities; the absence of ramps at some business establishments as well as the lack of action by the relevant authorities to penalize those who erect a building that did not cater to those living with a physical challenge. (MM)

7 Responses to Questionable use of disabled parking ID cards

  1. Big Brown October 9, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    As more Barbadians become sensitized to the need to leave designated parking spots for the disabled, it is obvious to me that more people will seek tags so that they are parking legally in spaces reserved for the disabled. Physical disabilities cover a wide spectrum and we have to be careful not to judge who is disabled because they can drive or walk.

    While there will always be people who abuse any system, if there was even a card naming the disabled person to be kept in the vehicle and of course there was a fine for non-compliance and it was policed perhaps these anecdotal accounts would be reduced.

    Reply
  2. Phil October 9, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    In overseas countries, parking for the disabled is made available for exactly whom it is meant for…. DISABLED PERSONS… And NOT a fit individual who is transporting the disabled one. I once told a woman she was parking in a disabled spot and she had more info on me than the Interpol or God for that matter. I learnt everything and every body that rah sold to. I also found out who my mother’s great great, great grandmother was. The only few words I managed to slip in were ” Now I know why you’re so ugly and stupid…. we’re related to each other on our father’s side .Bo BO ma boy, tell muh ef en I did wrong…. Ah gone…

    Reply
  3. Alex Alleyne October 9, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Disabled license plates is the way to go.

    Reply
  4. Clarence October 10, 2016 at 8:47 am

    There is a loophole around every law, even disabled number plates could be hacked. If you have a disabled parent, you can easily borrow their vehicle to run and errand, they are not going to say no.

    Reply
  5. Phil October 10, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Clarence, Not if you”re instructed to produce your ID in which case age will verified.

    Reply
  6. Tony Waterman October 12, 2016 at 12:03 am

    @Phil, Clarence, Alex!!!! The answer is staring right at you, don’t look too high to solve this one.

    PHOTO Parking ID Display Cards, and a parking attendant to verify the users using the Parking spot, if it’s not the Driver’s Photo on the Card, Park elsewhere and the MVRTA should have a section that speaks to that with a Fine and or a Fine and being Towed away.

    Reply
  7. Tony Waterman October 12, 2016 at 12:06 am

    @PHIL!!! Age has Nothing to do with disability, and we have to be very careful, as there are some disabilities that do not show up by just looking at a person, as they are NOT Physical Disabilities.for instance the person might have Emphazima, or COPD.

    Reply

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