YOU don’t need a degree in town planning to realise 43 disabled car spaces in Orange just isn’t enough to cater for the 2200 disabled parking permit holders in Orange and Cabonne.
Factor in thousands more from Bathurst, Blayney and other towns who flock to the region’s health hub and the problem is even bigger.
While a lot of the vehicles may go to the hospital, often people from out-of-town drop into the central business district to shop while they are in Orange.
For the benefit of the economy this should be encouraged, but if the city gains a reputation as a place where parking is a problem it could mean the city’s businesses miss out on a lucrative market.
Disability permit holders appear to have more spaces in newer areas such as the north Orange shopping centre, but the CBD remains a problem, often unfairly forcing those with limited mobility away from the busiest streets.
Everyone has seen someone parked in a disabled parking space illegally, although its hard to fathom why someone would stoop so low.
The 57 fines doled out over the past year only factor in the drivers caught in the act, suggesting it could be just the tip of the iceberg for a much larger problem.
At $497 a pop, you would think a fine would be a big deterrent but clearly more public awareness is needed.
The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) encourages people to call council if they see someone parked in a disabled space without a permit.
But as councillor Glenn Taylor said council’s parking officers can’t be everywhere at once.
Another option is flyers available at the motor registry that members of the public can pick up to remind their fellow drivers they are parked in the wrong place.
Perhaps the shame of being approached by a fellow driver could work to break bad habits.