disabled drivers advocate for anonymous reporting system to protect parking spaces

Dublin, Ireland – The Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) is pushing for a new system that allows disabled drivers to report other motorists anonymously for illegally parking in disabled bays. This proposal comes in response to a study conducted by DDAI, which found that fear of physical and verbal abuse is preventing disabled drivers from confronting those who violate parking regulations.

The study, which surveyed 2,662 individuals, revealed that 88% of respondents felt it was too dangerous to approach drivers parked illegally in disabled spaces. Moreover, 94% expressed support for a text service that would enable them to alert local parking wardens about violations.

Instances of verbal abuse and confrontation were reported by disabled drivers who attempted to address illegal parking in disabled spots. One respondent shared how they had been told, “It’s none of your business” and “f***k off,” while another recalled being followed to a takeaway after parking in a disabled space.

The implementation of a text reporting scheme was heavily favored by those surveyed, with 89% expressing support for such a system. Advocates believe that an anonymous reporting mechanism would eliminate the fear of abuse and harassment that currently deters disabled drivers from addressing violations.

Nikki Bradley, a disability advocate campaigning for the introduction of the text alert scheme in Co Donegal, shared her personal experiences, highlighting the negative impact of unlawful parking in disabled bays. She emphasized the importance of creating a safe and effective way for people to combat parking bay abuse.

Richard Ryder, marketing manager at the Disabled Drivers Association, emphasized the community-wide support for a text alert scheme as a means to address parking violations in a safe manner. The organization is calling on city and county councils to adopt this system in their respective areas.

With existing text alert schemes successfully operating in various locations across Ireland, there is growing momentum to expand these initiatives to ensure the protection and accessibility of disabled parking spaces. Ultimately, the goal is to deter illegal parking, provide a safer reporting method, and promote compliance with disability parking regulations.