The discussion on the proposed law submitted by the EDEK Member of Parliament Andreas Apostolou begins in the Transportation Committee of the Parliament. The law suggests an increase in fines for those who illegally park in spaces designated for people with disabilities.
Specifically, according to the proposed law, if someone illegally parks in a disabled (accessible) parking space for the first time, the fine increases from €300 to €500. However, in case a person repeats the offense, a fine will not be issued, but the individual will be subject to prosecution under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations, which stipulate that anyone violating them is guilty of an offense and is subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of €1,708.
In the rationale of the proposed law, Mr. Apostolou states that “the modification is deemed necessary for the strict enforcement of the legal framework, in order to address problems related to the right of unhindered movement of persons with disabilities, which is a fundamental prerequisite for their participation in public life. There is an increase in the phenomenon of vehicle parking in spaces designated for disabled individuals by unauthorized persons.”
Apostolos: We need to also consider the issue of inspections by the police.
Andreas Apostolou stated: “I consider the current framework regarding checks and complaints about these violations to be inadequate. Organizations for people with disabilities, who have been invited to and will participate in today’s session, agree with me. The phenomenon of individuals illegally parking in these spaces is unfortunately observed very often, even in vital services such as hospitals. It is unacceptable for people with disabilities or parents with disabled children not to find parking spaces because of some irresponsible individuals who do not have the right to park.”
“We must note, however, that besides increasing fines, we also need to consider the checks conducted by the police. It seems that the checks are inadequate. We will try in Parliament to do what we can, to change the framework for penalties. At the same time, other measures need to be examined and implemented so that checks are increased and become more effective. That’s why we invited the police to participate in the discussion for a broader conversation. I contacted the Minister of Transportation, who supports the proposal I submitted. I believe there will be a good discussion to examine what we can do about this serious issue.”
The President of the Organization of Paraplegics in Cyprus, Dimitris Lambrianidis, stated regarding the issue: “The proposed law is in the right direction. However, as an organization, we consider it necessary to increase supervision by both the police and traffic wardens because the main problem is inadequate monitoring. People feel that they will not be punished, so they easily park illegally in disabled parking spaces.”