City to Get Tough on Motorists Parking in Disabled Parking Bays Without a Permit


For Immediate Release

Contact Information
Helen Zoellner
Public Relations Manager
441-292-1234 ext.204

City to Get Tough on Motorists Parking in Disabled Parking Bays Without a Permit

Hamilton – March 26th, 2021

The City of Hamilton is advising the motoring public that they will be cracking down on motorists who park in disabled parking bays without a Disabled Parking Permit.

The City wishes to remind the public that this is a ticketable offence with a $75 penalty. There are 73 designated disabled parking bays on the City streets and in the car parking lots which are all identified by the international symbol for the disabled (blue wheelchair).

Over the next few weeks, the City will be rolling out an information campaign across multiple platforms regarding this issue.

City of Hamilton Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Dwayne Caines said: “We have to ensure there is access to parking for everyone and that we cultivate a ‘City for All’. The disabled parking bays are grossly abused by motorists without disabilities, and we want to caution the public that this behaviour is unacceptable. Beyond the fact that it is a ticketable offence, it is just entirely inconsiderate. As such, the City has instructed Traffic Wardens to be extra vigilant against these kinds of infractions.

“If there is no available parking spot right outside the store you wish to enter then, yes, you may have to go to a car park and park there. What is only a minor inconvenience for you may be an impossibility for someone with physical disabilities. It does not matter if you are ‘only hopping out for a second’ to pick something up; that could be precisely the time when a person with disabilities needs to use that spot.

“There may be a misconception in our community that there are only a handful of vehicles in Bermuda with disabled parking permits, but I can advise that each year the City prints just over a thousand disabled parking permits. When you consider that there are approximately 22, 238 private cars registered in Bermuda, vehicles with disabled parking badges make up a considerable proportion.

“Also, we must be reminded that disabilities can’t always be seen. We shouldn’t assume that because someone is not in a wheelchair or walking with a cane that they do not have a disability.”

Keith Simmons, Accessibility Officer at the Ministry of Health’s Ageing and Disability Services, said, “I wish to echo the City’s sentiments in appealing to the motoring public to please be considerate of those with disabilities when it comes to issues of access in the City and, indeed, the entire island. A disabled parking bay is often the only means by which we can access a particular store. It is not unusual for me to hear stories of individuals with disabilities who have had to give up and return home empty-handed as a result of vehicles without a Disabled Parking Permit being parked in all of the disabled parking bays.”

Over recent years the City has been working to ensure our crossings are ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant which means making the City’s sidewalks safe for all users, including those with disabilities. Action in this regard has included the installation of safer drop curbs and using tactile ‘bumpy’ pavers which help those with visual impairments know when they are approaching a crosswalk.

Likewise, in early 2020 the City installed an additional 28 disabled parking bays throughout the City, bringing the total number to 73, which is two per cent of the total number of bays in the City.

It should be noted that the Disabled Parking Permit is issued to the disabled person, not to his/her spouse, relative, friend or caregiver. The permit may only be used when the disabled person is actually being transported in a vehicle. It is an offence for anyone to use a Disabled Parking Permit, other than the person to whom it has been issued. The permit is designed to be transferrable to whichever vehicle the disabled person is travelling in. Abuse of the privilege may result in the permit being cancelled.

The City of Hamilton uses the definition of "disabled" in the United Kingdom's Disability Discrimination Act, 1995, as follows: "A disabled person is a person who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities."

Individuals can apply for a Disabled Parking Permit by going to www.cityofhamilton.bm.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact the Bermuda Police Service if they see cars not displaying disabled permits parked in disabled bays. If someone suspects abuse of a disabled permit, please contact the City of Hamilton on 292-1234 so the issue can be investigated.

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