By Mack Marsh ~
Those of us with a disability see it all the time… that car parked in the accessible space with no plate or placard… unable to access the ramp on our vehicle because someone has parked in the hash marks designated for extra space needed for the disabled parking stall… or how about the vehicle illegally blocking a curb cut making it impossible for someone in a wheelchair to get up a curb.
What can be done about it?
The police can be called, however, parking violations are low priority and the offender is often gone before the police arrive. You can confront the driver, but these days, that’s a dangerous proposition and rarely ends positively. Fortunately, there is now an easy way to address the issue in a positive, proactive way.
Parking Mobility is an Austin, Texas, based nonprofit organization that provides a free App that allows anyone to report disabled parking violations quickly and easily. Using the Parking Mobility App takes as little as one minute, is discrete, and provides much needed data to address the issue.
How does it work?
Download the free App and use it to report every accessible parking violation you see. You will be sent a followup message to your registered email informing you what happened with that report.
When a violation is reported within a community that has partnered with Parking Mobility, a citation is issued by the local law enforcement and mailed to the owner of the offending vehicle. The person cited has the choice of paying the fine or taking an
educational alternative that teaches them about the importance of accessible parking spaces and the laws protecting them. This program has proven to reduce accessible parking abuse by as much as 80% in less than two years.
What about communities that are not partners with Parking Mobility?
It is even more important to receive reports of accessible parking violations in communities that have not yet partnered with the Parking Mobility program. There has never been a comprehensive study of accessible parking abuse. This means there is no reliable data that can be use to educate local decision makers on the need for better enforcement and educational efforts. Parking Mobility gathers the data from reports received and shares that information with local decision makers. This effort informs decision makers on how often accessible parking violations occur and hopefully will encourage them to deploy the full program in their communities.
Every report is important! Regardless of whether a citation is issued or not, the compiled data helps educate someone…. be it the offender or local decision makers. Parking Mobility was started in central Texas but is growing across the state and throughout the country. Reports everywhere are essential to the Program’s continued success. If everyone affected by accessible parking violations took a minute to report offenders, real change is possible. So instead of feeling frustrated over the all too common problem, take some control over the issue by reporting any disabled parking violation and feel empowered by being part of the solution.
“Enforcement will only go so far in addressing the problem. We like Parking Mobility because it leverages enforcement efforts into education that ends the problem.”
~ Judge Bert Cobb, Hays County Judge
“Parking Mobility provides an excellent partnership between law enforcement and the disability community to solve a problem through proactive involvement and education.”
~ Constable Sally Hernandez, Travis County Precinct 3 Constable
“Parking Mobility provides a cost positive solution to a growing problem in all communities.”
~ Gerald Daugherty, Travis County Commissioner
“Before Parking Mobility I got so frustrated about disabled parking violations. Now I can be a part of the solution.”
~ Renee Lopez, Parking Mobility Volunteer
#accessibleparking #parkingmobility #endhandicapparkingabuse #ableoutdoors