Handicapped Parking in Vernon
The City of Vernon provides reserved and marked stalls in the downtown core, both on street and in controlled parking lots, for the use of that section of the parking public who are mobility impaired. These spaces were developed in conjunction with disabled support groups, in order to best serve the users. Each space is designated by signage, equipped with wheel chair let downs, lowered (blue) parking meters, and are reserved for mobility impaired users only. We honour any handicapped placard issued by another community, or by SPARC BC http://www.sparc.bc.ca/parking-permit. Permits must be valid and current when parking in a reserved space, and must only be used when the person with the disability is in the vehicle.
On Street Handicapped Parking Provisions
As with most municipalities, in Vernon you are required to pay the meter rate even if a valid placard for people with disabilities is displayed. The disability placard does not exempt the user from obeying other parking laws or from payment of appropriate parking fees, but rather verifies the ability to park in these reserved spaces. As each municipality is responsible for their own bylaws and enforcement, parking privileges may vary from community to community. Private parking lots and mall parking are enforced by the business or mall management. As there is no overlying Provincial legislation regarding handicapped parking provisions, each City is tasked with determining what regulations may be best for their community, and as each Traffic or Parking bylaw may be different, so are regulations for handicapped parking.
In Vernon, spaces are provided, are reserved for use, but do require payment of a parking meter or permit dispenser to park.
City of Vernon Special Parking Permit
The City of Vernon now offers a Special Parking Permit for drivers with a valid handicapped placard issued by Independent Living Vernon and a valid drivers licence. The Special Parking Permit will allow drivers to park in regular metered stalls in the City of Vernon without having to put coins in the meter. The cost for this permit is $48.00 per year and can be purchased at City Hall.
This permit will not suit all disabled drivers as wheelchair / mobility aid users will still need to use the dedicated on-street Handicapped Stalls with the lowered meters and sidewalk ramp. But drivers with other disabilities might prefer to park in regular metered stalls, closer to their destination, without putting coins in that meter. It also permits the driver to park for up to three hours in a two hour on-street stall.
The Protective Service Division’s Assistant Bylaw Compliance Officers are tasked with ensuring that handicapped parking spaces are not abused and are available for use and take this job very seriously. Each year Officers write approximately 50 tickets for misuse of the spaces. In addition, the RCMP may ticket for an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.
From the SPARC website:
So many people wonder - how can we stop the abuse of accessible parking spaces? Sadly, many offenders are legitimate permit holders who misuse their permit. Please know the rules and play by them!
A person commits an offense under Division 38 of the Motor Vehicles Act pertaining to Disabled Persons' Parking Permits if he or she:
- Makes a false statement on an application
- Mutilates, defaces, or alters a permit
- Lends or transfers a permit to another person, whether or not that person is disabled
- Continues to use their permit past the expiry date
- Stops, leaves standing, or parks in a designated accessible parking zone but is not transporting a person with a disability, yet displays a valid parking permit
- Stops, leaves standing, or parks in a designated accessible parking zone a vehicle that does not display a valid parking permit, or a permit of similar nature issued by another jurisdiction
Should you see a vehicle parked in an on street space or a space in a City owned parking lot that is not displaying a proper permit, or is not in use by a person with a disability, please call the Bylaw Division at 250-550-3505 to report the occurrence. A Bylaw Compliance Officer will be dispatched to investigate and ticket if necessary.