Many districts across the country have been changing the mobility parking spots to the vivid blue colour scheme as opposed to the simple yellow sign. This has been done as an attempt to make the designated spots more visible to able-bodied drivers who would argue that they ‘never saw the sign’.
However in the Far North it has done little to decrease or stop these parking abuses from happening. This is a clear sign that disability-parking violations actually have little to do with visibility and everything to do with lack of awareness of disability issues.
Until the general public understand just how important these designated parking spaces are for people with disabilities, able-bodied motorists will continue to park in them at the expense of those who genuinely need these spaces.
From the outside a simple parking space may seem like a non-issue but this is the exact sentiment that holds that any form of activism towards any marginalised group. People who shrug off legitimate complaints and grievances as trivial and melodramatic simply fail in trying to empathise with a particular community that is not theirs.
Without these parking spaces, motorists and passengers with disabilities are unable to fulfil the daily jobs that every single one of us has. There is a reason why mobility parking spaces are wider and close to a curb that goes on to the footpath. No one else needs these two crucial differences except people with disabilities, both temporary and permanent. No one else knows the dangers of taking a wheelchair across the car park where reversing motorists can’t see you.
This is no trivial matter and while the vivid blue colour scheme is most definitely an important step in the right direction, this issue will not be solved until the underlying problem of lack of awareness is tackled. This is what the bulk of the attention about mobility parking abuses needs to be focused on.