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Nearly 200 fines issued to Montreal drivers parking in spots reserved for people with disabilities

Police are reminding people not to use disabled parking spaces (photo: Scott Prouse / CTV Montreal) Police are reminding people not to use disabled parking spaces (photo: Scott Prouse / CTV Montreal)

Montreal parking authorities issued dozens of tickets earlier this month for drivers using spots reserved for people with reduced mobility.

Montreal police issued 73 tickets, Montreal mobility agents issued another 121 tickets, and 28 towing operations were carried out from June 1 to 7, the Quebec Week for People with Disabilities. Police said minimum penalties start at $200 to $300.

The operation was carried out in cooperation with Moelle épinière et motricité Québec (MÉMO-Qc), an organization helping people who live with spinal cord injuries.

"This annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness of the consequences for these people when they do not have access to the parking spaces reserved for them, particularly those related to their safety and loss of autonomy," said Commandant Michel Lebrun, head of the Montreal police road safety division.

Occupying a space reserved for people with reduced mobility -- even for a short time -- can have a significant impact on a person with a disability.

Spaces reserved for people with disabilities are designed to make access to businesses and facilities easier.

It is also a safety issue: because they are at the same height as cars, wheelchair users also run a very high risk of collision when rolling through parking aisles.

Further, people living with a disability may not be able to get out of their adapted vehicle if they can't use an accessible parking spot, which often needs space for a ramp or lift to deploy.

Disabled drivers need to use a valid parking permit issued by the Quebec automobile insurance board (SAAQ). A driver using a fake permit or a permit issued to another person could face additional fines.

"Over 16 per cent of Quebec's population is made up of people with disabilities. For them, respecting the right to reserved parking is crucial to their social and professional integration. For the rest of the population, respecting this right is a matter of civic-mindedness," explained Walter Zelaya, executive director of MÉMO-Qc. Top Stories

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