The City of Fremantle is supporting National Disability Services and the ACROD Parking Program in a new community education campaign which aims to reduce the misuse of ACROD parking bays.
Featuring the message “This Bay is Someone’s Day: Park Right Day and Night”, the campaign launches today to coincide with International Day of People with Disability.
Eye-catching stickers and posters on ACROD bays, as well as social media videos will highlight the impact that parking in ACROD bays without a permit can have on someone’s day.
City of Fremantle parking inspectors will also distribute information cards with fines telling drivers who park illegally in ACROD bays that their actions can have significant consequences for people who genuinely need them
To coincide with the campaign, the State Government has increased on-the-spot fines for illegally parking in an ACROD bay from $300 to $500. Court imposed penalties have increased from $2000 to $5000.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said more than 90,000 Western Australians with severe mobility restrictions had an ACROD permit.
“Parking in an ACROD bay without a permit is never acceptable,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“ACROD bays provide essential access for people with disability to go about their daily lives, and the misuse of these bays can take away a person’s independence.
“We hope this campaign will educate our community and encourage drivers in Fremantle to consider the real-life implications for permit holders who are unable to access ACROD parking.”
Fremantle musician Mike Burns, who is himself an ACROD permit holder and wheelchair user, said people who illegally parked in an ACROD bay could stop him from going about his day.
“ACROD parking bays are so important because it means I can plan my day effectively, particularly as a musician myself, they are crucial for me to even accept an offer to play somewhere,” Mr Burns said.
“It’s hard for me to walk at all, even getting the wheelchair out of the car is tricky, so if I were 1km away from the venue it could take me an hour to get there where an abled person could get there in five minutes.
“Sometimes I have to drive home because it’s too hard for me to get myself and instruments there.
“Quite often the worst abusers are people who use a relative’s car with an ACROD sticker and then park in an ACROD bay to go and do their shopping.
“That can be really annoying. Please remember that an ACROD bay may represent a certain person’s chance to do something that means a lot to them, and by parking there illegally, you may prevent that person of achieving that.”
The City of Fremantle is one of 25 local government areas and seven shopping centres across WA which are supporting National Disability Services to facilitate this campaign, in partnership with RAC and funding from the Department of Communities.
The City of Fremantle is celebrating the launch of This Bay is Someone’s Day at a community event tomorrow at the City’s Containers for Change Refund Point.