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Ramp up against misuse of mobility parks

Somewhat Makeshift Disability Access Ramps2
The CCC worked with CCS Disability Action Group to tackle the abuse of mobility spaces.  WikimediaCommons

The Christchurch City Council are using a smartphone app and special sensors to stop people abusing mobility parks in Christchurch.

Amy Hartnel from the Earthquake Disability Leadership Group said while the two initiatives were a step in the right direction for a more accessible Christchurch, more signage and disability awareness is needed.

 "People only park in [mobility spaces] for five minutes so it's really hard to catch them," Hartnell said.

"Getting people to understand why mobility parks are so important would be a big help.

"Best practice internationally, and we're hoping it will catch on here, is when you paint the entire park blue and you have a great big sign next to it so it's really obvious that you're parking in a mobility park."

Since it launched in October, 141 reports have been made via the Access Aware smartphone app about members of the public using mobility spaces without a valid need.

The app was designed to make it easier for Cantabrians to find mobility parking spaces and aimed to put a stop to the abuse of mobility parks around Canterbury.

The latest initiative was a trial of ten smart sensors fixed to centre city mobility spaces that registers when vehicles do not hold micro-chipped mobility cards.

If a sensor did not pick up a Bluetooth signal on a mobility card within the vehicle, an alert would be sent to enforcement staff and a ticket could be issued.

The fine for using a mobility car park without a permit is $150.

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