Disabled bay parking fine up to  $2000
Costly: Disabled bay parking fine up to $2000. Picture: The Kalgoorlie Miner

Fines for illegally parking in disabled bays will double to as high as $2000 by the end of the year amid concerns they are not yet big enough to dissuade drivers.

The maximum court-imposed penalty for parking in an ACROD parking bay without a permit will increase from $1000 to $2000 under State Government plans.

Council rangers will also be given the power to issue $300 on-the-spot fines - more than double the existing cap of $120 to $140.

The State's main advocacy group for disability services welcomed the planned increases but said the chances of perpetrators being caught was still too low and more parking inspector patrols were needed.

National Disability Services WA manager Terry Simpson said he also believed on-the-spot fines of closer to $500 would better reflect the seriousness of the offence.

"We would very much welcome an increase in penalties," he said.

"Really it causes huge disruption to the lives of people with a disability when they can't get suitable parking and go about their business, whether it's going to the shops or the doctor.

"For us to change the behaviour of the very inconsiderate people who park in these bays requires two things: one is higher penalties, the other is more regular enforcement. At the moment, the chance of getting an infringement notice for parking in a disability parking bay, particularly in those shopping malls, is very, very low, so we'd like to see more action on enforcement."

Mr Simpson said he believed many people who parked in ACROD bays without a permit underestimated the harm it caused.

"There are some people who have just no consideration of others and you're never going to shame them but a lot of people might think 'It's OK, I'm just going to slip in and post a letter, I'll only be five minutes it doesn't matter' and really have no idea of the inconvenience," he said.

Perth metropolitan councils contacted by The West Australian backed higher fines. Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said local governments and the joint standing committee on delegated legislation had been concerned existing fines were not a sufficient deterrent.

Penalties were last reviewed in 2004.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West