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Little-known parking permit sparks confusion among Aussies

The additional limited mobility option is something not everyone is aware of.

Parking comes with many laws and at times can be "confusing" — something one Melburnian thought about a little-known rule, after allegedly catching a driver doing the wrong thing.

The green double-time parking permit marked with a 'PX2' is one that many have "no idea" about. They are unique to Victoria — with around 26,000 residents having them — and allow the permit holder, as the driver or passenger, to park in a standard parking bay for double the time on the parking sign, due to limited mobility.

“Everyone has different accessibility needs — there are many people that have limited mobility but do use a wheelchair or mobility aid, or require accessible parking bays," a Department of Transport and Planning spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

A photo of the yellow car with a double time permit showing behind the windscreen at at the Woolies Bayswater carpark in Melbourne.
The green double-time parking permit was spotted on a car parked in a disabled parking bay at Woolworths in Bayswater, Melbourne. Source: Tom Petrus (Tom Petrus)

“No matter the activity — our double-time parking permits allow people to park in standard bays for double the time outlined on the parking sign, offering additional support for people who need more time to get where they need to go.”

Parking permit sparks confusion for some

The permit does however come with a bit of uncertainty, says Melbourne local Tom Petrus who came across a car with the permit, parked in a disabled spot in the suburb of Bayswater, despite being only allowed to park in a regular spot.

"Many people who once had a disabled parking permit now do not fit that criteria and still park in disabled parking spaces when they shouldn't," he told Yahoo.

Thinking the permit is a good thing, Tom wished more people were aware of the conditions so that disabled spots were only taken up by those who needed them.

"The legislation on the surface is clear, however, those who have been downgraded to a 2X are either ignoring the correspondence sent to them or believe their permit is still the same," he said.

A photo of the car with double permit parked in a disabled spot at the Woolies Bayswater carpark in Melbourne. A closer photo of the green permit, reading PX2.
The permit cannot be used in disability accessible parking bays. Source: Tom Petrus (Tom Petrus)

How are the PX2 permits issued?

You may be eligible for the permit if a general practitioner (GP) or Occupational Therapist (OT) establishes that you have trouble walking more than 100 metres and need to take regular rest breaks while walking.

"These permits allow access to the community for patients whose disability results in these restrictions," RACGP Specific Interest Disability Chair Dr Robert Davis told Yahoo.

"GPs are well placed to provide verification of the wide range of conditions which include general frailty, neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, developmental and psychiatric problems."

After Tom shared the photos of the yellow car in a Facebook group, some gave examples of who would be issued the permit.

"My daughter has one, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41 this year and had a mastectomy 3 weeks later. She has been told by the doctors not to exert herself so they told her to apply for one of these ones and she was approved," one person commented.

Are there similar permits in other states?

As part of the Commonwealth’s move to coordinate accessible parking permit schemes across Australia, Victoria rolled them out in 2021 as an extra measure to the minimum requirements, after receiving positive feedback.

Each state and territory have slightly different rules for their disability schemes, which are specific to the needs of their communities.

At the moment, other states allow you to park for longer periods than the signposted time only if you have a disability parking permit.

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