Keeping up with New ‘Disability Parking’ Regulations

On 1 December 2014 the Local Government (Parking for People with Disabilities) Regulation 2014 (“Regulations”) will repeal and replace the prior regulations Local Government (Parking for Disabled Persons) Regulation 1988.  

The Regulations were amended as part of a national initiative to try to standardise the regulatory framework and parking provisions for people with disabilities. The Regulations were gazetted on 10 October 2014 and will come into effect on 1 December 2014.

What areas do the Regulations cover?

The Regulations apply to ‘parking facilities’ as defined in clause 1 of Schedule 9.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 (WA), and includes land, buildings, shelters, spaces, signs, notices, and other facilities for the parking of vehicles by members of the public, generally, with or without charge.

Under the transitional provisions in the Regulations a portion of road or parking facility that, immediately before the commencement of the Regulations, is a parking bay as defined in the Local Government (Parking for Disabled Persons) Regulation 1988 regulation 2, is to be taken, on and after that commencement, to be a permit parking area.

Key Changes

The key changes include updating terminology to bring it into line with the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) and Australian Standards, increased penalties for all offences, and changes in identification requirements for parking permit areas.

  • The Regulations uses the term ‘people with disabilities’ rather than ‘disabled persons’ to be consistent with terms used in the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) and Australian Standards.
  • A new definition of ‘disability parking permit’ replaces ‘ACROD sticker’. The new permit consists of two parts and will be issued by the ACROD Parking Program.
  • From 1 December 2014 all court imposed penalties will increase from $1,000 to $2,000, and all modified penalties (the ‘on the spot fines’) will increase from $120-$140 to $300.
  • Under regulation 8 of the Regulations a person must not identify, or purport to identify, a permit parking area without the written authority of the local government. This is now a prescribed offence for the purposes of section 9.16(1) of the Local Government Act 1995 and subject to an infringement notice and modified penalty. The penalty is $2,000 with a modified penalty of $300.
  • There are changes to identification requirements for permit parking areas. The previous regulations required that the words ‘Disabled Parking Only’ be printed on the ground. A permit parking area must now be identified by a ‘people with disabilities’ symbol as depicted in the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) regulation 171(2), marked on the ground within the limits of the permit parking area so that the symbol has a height of between 800-1000 mm and a width of no more than 1200 mm.

People with disabilities symbols:

symbol in blue                                                    background in blue
(symbol in blue)                               (background in blue)

  •  A permit parking area must also be identified with a parking control sign (erected on or near the permit parking area) as depicted in Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) regulation 171(2).

Permissive parking signs with a people with disabilities symbol:

For an area                                                          for a lenght of carriageway                                          parking sign

For an area                                      For a length of carriageway               Parking sign

(letter and arrow in green            (letter in green, background                      (background
background in blue, words             in blue, words in black)                               in blue)
in black)

The Regulations apply as if a local law

The Regulations will apply as if they were a local law of the local government, and from 1 December 2014 will override any other local law to the extent of any inconsistency. Local governments may use the Regulations for enforcement. Those parts of any local law inconsistent with the Regulations after 1 December 2014 will be inoperative.

We recommend that each local government review its current local laws dealing with parking enforcement and where necessary amend its local laws and internal processes to ensure consistency with the Regulations.  Any changes made to a local law should be timed to take effect on or after 1 December 2014.

For more information on this update or any other local government matter please contact Philip Mavor on (08) 9321 3755.

The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.