Fines will double for accessible parking misuse
Hannah MacLellan’s effort to make provincial legislation more sensitive to Islanders with physical limitations may soon become reality.
The former Easter Seals ambassador and grade 12 student at Charlottetown Rural High School advocated for changing outdated language in the Highway Traffic Act. These proposed amendments – along with doubling the fine for wrongfully parking in an accessible parking space – enter second reading in the legislature today.
“As a young Islander living with a physical disability, I believe it is time for the language on the accessible parking signs to evolve in a positive manner,” MacLellan said. “I’m ecstatic to see these changes put into place.”
Wording in the Highway Traffic Act would change from “disabled parking spaces” to “designated accessible parking spaces," and from “persons with physical disabilities” to “persons with mobility impairments.” In addition, the fines for unauthorized use of accessible parking would increase from $100 to $200.
“Everyone in Prince Edward Island should be able to live independently and reach their full potential,” Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar said. “Changing wording to acknowledge the language used by persons with disabilities is just one aspect of our commitment to listen and respond to the issues that matter most to Islanders.”
The PEI Council of People with Disabilities has advised the department on these legislation changes as well as other issues.
"We believe the increased fines will be a deterrent and help prevent misuse of the designated accessible parking spaces,” said Marcia Carroll, executive director of the PEI Council of People with Disabilities. “We value the use of appropriate language as it is always beneficial in moving the Disabilities Rights movement forward, and we congratulate Hannah on her work in bringing about these changes."
According to the council, there are over 20,000 Islanders living with disabilities and more than 6,500 who access the Designated Parking Program every year.
Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy