Letters

Letter Of The Week : Parking For Disabled

Many people living with disabilities have fewer economic opportunities and this is largely due to the lack of services available that was mentioned in Ba during the International Day for
03 Dec 2017 10:29
Letter Of The Week : Parking For Disabled

Many people living with disabilities have fewer economic opportunities and this is largely due to the lack of services available that was mentioned in Ba during the International Day for Persons with Disabilities the past week.

It was also stated that a good ten per cent of the total population falls into this category and I believe this might grow in the years to come.

In Fiji, we normally view the wheelchair users as such people but there are others with vision, hearing, mental and physically challenged problems.

I believe this group of people’s needs are not catered for especially for the drivers.

In the city of Suva there is a lack of provision for parking for such disadvantaged people that will enable them to lead autonomous and independent lives. These parking places increase opportunities for the people to access shops and enjoy the lifestyle that many of us do.

Just recently after the completion of the new building at Grieg Street in downtown Suva, the Fiji Roads Authority allocated a parking space for the physically-challenged drivers with road markings to identify the special spot.

Another one is in front of a pharmacy beside the Post Office which is strategically located.

We are now witnessing some positive changes as to how we develop our towns and cities in line with the progress made in the other countries.

The rights and protection of the disabled are enshrined in the 2013 Constitution.

As we make progress in the infrastructure aspects of the development, our legislation and the bylaws, I believe are not in par with the changes that are happening.

I believe, we are not creating laws fast enough to facilitate the development of mechanisms and facilities to cater for the needs of the disabled especially those who drive vehicles.

The physically-challenged parking at both the locations is no different from the other spots and used by all. This is not legislated and has no enforcement powers.

At one such parking with very clear disabled parking signs in Suva I asked a Traffic Infringement Officer as to why there were other cars parked in the reserved spot.

He said that as long as the driver has paid and has a receipt there should be no problem.

There is an urgent need to legislate such policies to eliminate discrimination for the less-privileged drivers..

Satish Nakched will receive a Philips Steam Iron from Courts

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