Copenhagen's parking authority is joining forces with disability advocacy group Dansk Handicaporganisationer to crack down on abuses of disabled parking permits in Copenhagen, reports public broadcaster DR.
The city's Centre for Parkering plans to work with the handicap organisation to coordinate registration information between the two groups so that parking wardens can immediately check if the disabled parking permit displayed in a vehicle is legitimate.
Jesper Boesen of Dansk Handicaporganisationer called the collaboration a major step forward.
”Previously, the only way a parking warden could check on a permit was to wait for the driver to come back to the car,” Boesen told DR. “It’s a cumbersome process that often inconveniences law-abiding citizens.”
New technology allowing wardens to check several lists at once make it easier to determine if a placard being displayed in a vehicle is actually registered to the car owner or if the permit has been reported stolen or missing.
Last year, there were 14 cases of drivers for displaying false, altered, stolen, lost or expired disabled parking permits, according to the city. The same number of cases is already on the books for just the first few months of 2012, and parking authorities believe that they may just be the tip of the iceberg.
The penalties for able-bodied drivers caught illegally using handicapped placards have the potential to be much tougher than a standard parking ticket.
“If a driver is reported for forgery there is a strong possibility of jail time,” Boesen said.