Accessible Parking Enforcement
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Abuse of accessible parking spaces and access through the ramps is an ever growing problem, and the use of those spaces designed for those with a handicap placard or plate are hard to access despite the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Handicap parking laws could be better enforced by allowing Parking Mobility the use of their app with photo enforcement to report to our local municipalities who can take the information to send out citations to those who have parked unlawfully.
In addition, I would like citations to be written to those who are unlawfully using the Accessible Parking areas in accordance with N.C. General Statutes 20-37.6. It is not enough to just appear without enforcing the law. It merely perpetuates the problem as the violators do not even get confronted by law enforcement for their infraction.
Physically challenged people are continually running out of places to park and safely enter or exit their vehicles when their space has been taken by someone without the placard or plate, even going as far as to park their vehicle or motorcycle in the space marked off for those with a ramp to have access to their vehicle. Additionally, there are businesses using the sidewalk ramp to leave a portable sign for special deals, making it impossible to enter the establishment if you require mobility like a walker or wheelchair.
As a community, we mandate the same Accessible Parking laws to protect the Civil Rights of those with physical challenges who have serious impairments that require the use of these Accessible Parking accommodations:
North Carolina law provides for parking assistance to vehicle owners and/or their passenger(s) whose medical professionals have certified as being unable to walk without assistance or who have restrictions caused by lung disease, defective vision, or cardiac, arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic conditions (N.C. General Statutes 20-37.6).
It is unlawful to park or leave standing any vehicle that does not carry a valid handicap placard or plate in a handicap parking space. It is also unlawful to block or obstruct a curb ramp or curb cut for handicapped persons, as provided under the North Carolina Building Code.
Additionally, law enforcement officers may order a vehicle in violation of this section to be towed. Provisions relative to parking spaces marked and reserved for handicapped people are enforced by state, county, and municipal authorities in their jurisdictions and may be subject to citations and fines.
Striped aisles, or access aisles, are used for wheelchair transfer, walker use and for ramps and lifts to operate safely. Van accessible spaces are usually next to access aisles and are to be free for wheelchairs and walkers.
As an individuals and caregivers of individuals with physical challenges, we have serious concerns about the enforcement of the parking privileges for handicapped drivers and passengers.
Understanding that Cumberland County is a large area with many private and public parking areas with signage for accessible parking, we are asking that you let the community help ease this burden by allowing us the ability to report with the use of the Parking Mobility App, and using the information provided from the app to enforce the existing laws protecting our Civil Rights under the ADA.
The Parking Mobility App has the ability to mark the location of the violation through GPS on the mobile device with the app installed, take pictures of the front/back of the vehicle, as well as a third picture to be able to clearly show the vehicle is parked unlawfully. The app can also be used to photograph items other than vehicles, such as commercial signs, used on accessible ramps etc to advertise.
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