As of today, park illegally in a space identified with proper signage for an individual with an accessibility permit, and you can expect to pay big bucks with the ticket.
The fine is now anywhere from $400, at a minimum, to $700. The increase is meant to deter illegal parking.
The fine changes were announced back in October, as part of edits to the Designated Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations. Also included were requirements for more designated spaces for vans. Spaces identified to support accessibility are also now not required to be painted blue entirely, given an identified slip and fall risk from the paint. They will, however, still be identified with the accessibility logo and additional signage as dictated by Service NL.
The October announcement also highlighted amendments coming to regulations under the Buildings Accessibility Act. They are expected to come into effect in April.
These changes involve the need for one in 10 apartment building units to be fully accessible, for example, versus one in 15. There must be barrier-free (typically lower) counters wherever the public is served, larger accessible toilet stalls, broader turnstiles, power doors beyond just the main entrances for buildings larger than 500 square metres, and a change in the height and number of grab bars. There is a new gradient for access ramps.
Anyone uncertain as to what may or may not apply to their own property is encouraged to contact Service NL.
The broader Buildings Accessibility Act as a whole has been in place since 1981 and advocates continue to call for a more in-depth review and replacement of the entire act.
Service NL Minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh has committed to that review, but there is no clear indication yet of when exactly a replacement of the act might come.