Disabled motorist cops parking fines despite permits

NUMBER plate recognition cameras touted as state-of-the-art when introduced are causing headaches for a disabled motorist in Lismore who received parking fines despite displaying approved permits.

Suffering the debilitating effects of emphysema, which limit her ability to walk long distances, a woman who declined to give her name, said she was issued the parking permit last year.

Taking advantage of the permit, the woman said she had parked in Molesworth St outside her workplace in a disabled space all year, but only encountered problems since the licence plate technology was introduced.

The woman, who only works two days a week, said she received two $101 fines for illegally parking in a disabled space, although she was clearly displaying her mobility parking scheme permit on her windscreen as required.

The permit entitles a disabled person to park for up to two hours in a space designated for 30-minute parking, or for an unlimited time in a space where parking is limited to more than 30 minutes.

Lismore City Council implemented the licence plate recognition LPR program in July, where on one unnamed day a week, a marked car patrols the CBD targeting illegal parking.

The camera operator in the car was tasked with checking windscreens for parking permits.

Council hired the camera from Byron Shire Council who had been using the camera for more than two years in Byron Bay.

Lismore City Council compliance co-ordinator Matt Kelly said after being contacted by the woman changes would be made to the LPR system.

The change follows enquiries on the woman's behalf by The Northern Star.

"This operational practice has been very effective to date, however, as identified by your submission, not a 100% effective for nose-in parking arrangements," Mr Kelly said.

"To improve this process council has determined to provide a covering letter with all LPR-issued infringements requesting that where the driver of the vehicle had a mobility parking permit displayed at the time of the infringement that they make contact with council for immediate review.

"If validated upon review council will withdraw the notice."

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