A viral TikTok is raising awareness of how a common parking act is affecting people in wheelchairs.
TikTok user and disability advocate @aimee.d.m posted a 17 second video to her channel earlier this week.
“How are wheelchairs meant to get through?”, she asked, while filming three separate cars blocking her access to the footpath.
The TikTok user says on her channel that she suffers from mitochondrial disease, which impedes her hearing and often has her confined to a wheelchair.
The video has been quick to gain over 129,000 views, 7230 likes and 1380 comments in a matter of days.
Many TikTok users in the comments section have taken the video as an educational tool, and thanked Aimee for raising awareness in the comments section.
“I used to park half on the footpath until I got booked, I was so embarrassed but learned a lesson,” said one TikTok user.
“I have to admit I am guilty of this and never thought how it may obstruct the disabled – never again,” commented another.
“People in wheelchairs, people with prams, people on crutches, children having to walk into the road to go round, the list goes on,” wrote a third.
Parking fine awaits drivers who block footpaths
The seemingly harmless act of parking on a nature strip or at the top of a driveway can land drivers hefty fines.
Under the Australian Road Rules 197 and 198, drivers are prohibited from illegal stopping and obstructing pedestrians.
“'Drivers must not stop or park on a nature strip, footpath, shared path, bicycle path or dividing strip in a built-up area unless otherwise sign-posted,” the rule states.
Individual councils have determined penalties for their respective regions, however every state in Australia is enforcing Rules 197 and 198.
NSW: Drivers found to have broken these rules will be fined $348 with two demerit points.
VIC: Anyone in Victoria who is found to obstruct access to pathways will cop a $109 fine.
QLD: Parking illegally on a footpath or obstructing access to one will be punished with a $103.50 fine.
SA: Anyone found parking in illegal areas will receive a fine of $198 whilst those obstructing access to these areas will get a penalty fine of $177.
TAS: Drivers who break Rule 197 or 198 will get a fine of $87 from local police.
ACT: If you obstruct access or illegally park in certain areas of Canberra, you will receive a $125 ticket.
WA: Instant fines of $50 apply to anyone breaking the parking law.
NT: One penalty unit awaits those who break Rule 197 or 198, which will cost $157.
TikToker receives backlash to disability plea
However not all TikTok users have been supportive of Aimee’s plea, with many comments encouraging her to “get over it” and “just go around.”
After posting the initial video, Aimee also posted a follow-up, where she filmed a car blocking her way, stating that she had to maneuver her wheelchair onto the road.
A second follow-up shows Aimee approaching a neighbour and asking them to move their car, to which she receives a flurry of verbal abuse from a woman.
A third follow-up shows Aimee speaking to the camera, stating that she won’t let the “haters” get under her skin.