Throughout the month of April, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is running a public awareness campaign on the appropriate use of ACROD car parking bays.
Also referred to as accessible parking bays, disability parking bays, permit parking areas or blue bays, ACROD parking bays help people with mobility restrictions access public facilities and essential services.
Misuse of the bays by fully able-bodied drivers can be a major impediment to the health, wellbeing and welfare of those who legitimately require close proximity parking and wider bays that enable people to easily get in and out of their cars into wheelchairs or other assistance devices.
Shire Community Development Officer Katie Taylor said the month long educational campaign aims to highlight the importance of ACROD bays being used correctly and available at all times to those that need them.
"The prime location of ACROD bays means that they are often misused during peak times - for drop-offs and pick-ups and when people are only going to be five minutes."
"This is a common misconception that if you're only going to be five minutes you are not disadvantaging anyone.
"Five minutes can be the difference between someone with a disability or mobility restriction accessing important services or not and having to go home."
"If people that don't need them are parked in these bays it is incredibly difficult for ACROD permit holders to use another bay to access services such as chemists, doctors, post office, shops, as well as having access to social inclusion opportunities."
Shire Rangers will be targeting misuse of ACROD bays during the awareness campaign period and will be issuing on-the-spot fines for noncompliance.
"ACROD bays are consistently misused in high demand carparks such as Mainbreak, River Mouth and other locations," Ranger Coordinator Sharon McTaggart said.
"Throughout April we are issuing on the spot fines as a means to providing a clear message to the community and visitors to the area that this will not be tolerated."
To find out more about the awareness campaign contact 9780 5255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.