Page 2853 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 16 August 2017
roads and to motorists, who can face dangers such as impaired line of sight and unexpected hazards. That is why disability parking spots are often located near entrances, to help those with mobility issues move quickly and easily out of the road environment.
The second is public and business amenity. It is important that parking regulations are properly enforced to ensure public and business amenity. This means that disability parking is reserved for people with a disability. It means that loading zones are kept free for deliveries for businesses. It means that short-term parking spaces provide for a turnover of customers for businesses. And it means that residents have unobstructed access to and from their homes.
The third concerns government. The provision of paid parking by the ACT government is on a user-pays basis. In doing this, the government seeks to ensure equitable allocation of space and incentives for ACT residents to utilise alternative forms of transportation.
These strategic objectives are by no means mutually exclusive. For instance, motorists parking in an unsafe fashion are often doing so to avoid paying for parking, which affects government services. Unsafe parking, such as parking across driveways, also restricts residents’ access to homes. Motorists not having to pay for parking can mean that other motorists and businesses are disadvantaged, because patrons’ access to their businesses is restricted.
This compliance model is implemented by Access Canberra through three fundamental steps: engage, educate and enforce. Engagement means ensuring that there is a positive working relationship with stakeholders and members of the public.
Education means taking reasonable steps to ensure that people know how to comply, for example, through clear signage in parking areas, warnings ahead of major sporting fixtures, or changes to parking conditions. For this reason, parking operations inspectors are some of Access Canberra’s most regular communicators with our community. Not only do they provide information about parking obligations and rules, but they are routinely asked for directions and other help. They are, of course, also happy to assist community members, including vulnerable people in need.
Enforcement means taking action for noncompliance proportional to the harm caused by the conduct, such as the issue of warnings or parking infringement notices. What this means in general is that Access Canberra seeks to encourage compliance through education, but escalating enforcement action will be applied to those whose conduct will or is likely to cause harm or those who demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law. I will say that when it comes to disability parking permits there are very few circumstances where misuse of the permit or the parking spot does not end in a fine, and rightly so. In 2016-17 there were in excess of 2,300 mobility bay parking infringements issued.
One of the policy levers the government is using to change illegal parking behaviour is the value of the fine set in relation to a particular offence. From 18 September the