Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has called for greater enforcement of parking laws. Deputy O’Mahony made the comments after the Irish Wheelchair Association highlighted that illegal parking is having a serious negative impact on people with disabilities.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony commented, “Last week I met with the Irish Wheelchair Association to discuss the issues currently affecting people with disabilities. The organisation pointed out that illegal parking is becoming an increasing problem for wheelchair users due to a consistent lack of enforcement of parking laws.
“Parking on footpaths in urban areas in particular is a growing problem. Such carless parking makes it difficult for wheelchair users to move about. This is serious problem when you consider we are encouraging wheelchair users to become active in their communities, but at the same time making it hard for them to do so. It’s therefore essential that laws relating to illegal parking on footpaths are enforced. It’s pointless to have these laws and regulations if they are not being actively enforced.
“Drivers and the public in general need to be aware that what they may regard as a minor inconvenience for pedestrians can actually have a serious negative impact on the quality of life for wheelchair users. We all need to be more aware of wheelchair users and people with disabilities. Parking illegal on a footpath can force wheelchair users on to the road which increases the chance of serious injury occurring.
“The increase in the number of disabled parking spaces in urban areas is a welcome development. It shows that we can increase the quality of life for people with disabilities when we put our minds to it. However we must ensure that laws which can have a positive impact on a person with a disability are actively enforced.”