Crackdown on disability drivers who disobey road signs
AFTER turning a blind eye for many years, the council's parking officers will begin fining drivers with disability permits who disobey road signs.
Blue and red disability parking permits are available to people with limited mobility.
While a blue permit holder can park for free in any metered area as well as in a disability car space, a red permit holder can park only in any off-street parking bay.
The council's parking officers have traditionally turned a blind eye to red permit holders parking for longer than signed.
But the council's effort to crack down has come after a local resident with a blue permit complained about red permit motorists taking up disabled parking bays.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council's policy change would bring the region into line with state regulations.
"One of the things a respectful community does is follow those regulations," he said.
"We're going to put that message that there is a regime."
But red permit drivers won't see fines on their windscreens immediately, since Cr O'Connell has asked compliance officers to issue warnings for a few weeks.
Although she doesn't drive anymore, Maryborough resident Ruth Brown cited the importance of leaving disability parking free for those in need.
"It's tremendously important," she said.
"You're really in big trouble if you can't find a disability park. You're not terribly active when you're 90.
"Most of us have got four-wheel walkers and we can't walk very far and we need those disability areas."
The council will develop a fact sheet for drivers to understand the new rules.
1206 blue permits
297 red permits
2601 blue permits
781 red permits