New app will identify cars parked illegally in mobility spaces

Press Release – CCS Disability Action


CCS Disability Action Board Member Phillip Blundell MNZM (left) and Wellington City Council’s Transport Strategy and Operations Portfolio Leader Councillor Calvi-Freeman (right).

CCS Disability Action, the Wellington City Council and Thundermaps have signed a partnership agreement which cements a collaboration to revolutionise the reporting and enforcement of mobility parking abuse.

This revolutionary Access Aware app will connect people who encounter mobility parking misuse directly with the Wellington City Council’s Parking Enforcement Teams.

This initiative will prove life-changing for Wellington residents with access issues. “Our research shows that levels of parking abuse have not improved in ten years, with abuse rates still unacceptably high, despite increases in fines and attempts to grow awareness of the problem. Using a mobility parking space without a permit even ‘for just a minute’ can block a disabled person’s opportunity to live life freely,” explains CCS Disability Action Chief Executive David Matthews.

Put them in their place. Stop Mobility Parking abuse.

Users can make a report of any parking misuse they observe. These parking misuse reports can be shared with the Wellington City Council’s City Council’s Parking Enforcement Team so that they can monitor the use and abuse of parks.

“Misuse of mobility parks in New Zealand is a big issue and a real concern for those with disabilities who have a genuine need for these parking spaces,’’ says the Council’s Transport Strategy and Operations Portfolio Leader, Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman. “With this project we hope to begin solving the problem of mobility parking card abuse and make it easier for those with disabilities to find parks,” he says.

By downloading and using the Access Aware app on their smartphone or tablet, users can make a real difference to the disabled community by actively creating social change. “We believe the data collected on parking abuse can influence the ways councils provide mobility parks and enforce them. Eventually we hope that this data can be used to advocate for the successful change of legislation so that both private and public mobility parks are enforced equally and consistently across the board,” says Mr. Matthews.

This is a bold vision, but a wholly worthwhile one totally in line with CCS Disability Action’s organisational values and commitments to disabled people and the creation of more inclusive communities.

The app was launched in Christchurch on October 1 and already has 288 downloads and 116 reports made. In 2018 CCS Disability Action will successively rollout this technology to their membership, networks and via their Mobility Parking permit-holders database as well as across the councils and businesses of Aotearoa.

The Access Aware app also allows users to see the locations of known mobility park locations on a map in real time so they can find a park when they need it. They can also add locations and descriptions of parks not already mapped. The purpose of Access Aware is to drive change, not just for mobility park locations but also for other accessibility issues that our communities face.

Currently there is no single place where you can easily access reliable data for access information New Zealand wide. Access Aware aims to change that with world first technology offering pre-mapped locations and information that will make accessing parking, communities, walkways, businesses, utilities, public conveniences and accommodation simple and easy. The app won’t just provide information, it will also allow users to upload reports and map relevant information themselves.

Access Aware has the potential to be very useful for all disabled people, their families and whānau. Access Aware can significantly improve everyday access issues that prevent many people from fully participating in their
communities. It’s free. It’s easy to use and it could help change the accessibility landscape in New Zealand.

People interested in taking part in the pilot are invited to download the free app on Google Play or Apple store by searching for ‘Access Aware’.

For more information visit www.ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz/AccessAware

News from WCC
Finding a mobility parking space in Wellington is to get easier for people with access issues. The Wellington City Council and CCS Disability Action have joined forces for a pilot project aimed at making it easier to find mobility parking spaces and stop them being abused by those without a valid need.

Access Aware is a new App developed for CCS Disability Action by ThunderMaps which allows users to send alerts if they spot a car they believe is illegally parked in a mobility park and to share information about the location of mobility parks.

If the reported misuse relates to a public carpark, it will be shared in real time with the City Council’s Parking Enforcement Team so it can take action.

“Misuse of mobility parks in New Zealand is a big issue and a real concern for those with disabilities who have a genuine need for these parking spaces,’’ says the Council’s Transport Strategy and Operations Portfolio Leader, Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman.

“With this project we hope to begin solving the problem of mobility parking card abuse and make it easier for those with disabilities to find parks.

“It’s an issue of common courtesy and being thoughtful of the needs of others. The parks are there to enable people with disabilities to take a full part in life in Wellington.”

Research by CCS Disability Action shows unacceptably high levels of abuse of mobility parks.

“We believe the current situation has to change. By downloading and using the Access Aware app on your smartphone you can make a real difference to the disabled community by actively creating social change,” says CCS Disability Action Chief Executive David Matthews.

“Access Aware has the potential to be very useful for all disabled people, their families and whānau. We plan to significantly improve everyday access issues that prevent many people from fully participating in their communities. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it could help change the accessibility landscape in New Zealand.”

The app can be downloaded from the Google play or apple store and there is a help line for technical problems on 0508 227 322 between 9-5 Mon-Fri.

A promotional video introducing the app is also available at www.ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz/AccessAware

 

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