Corporation Explain $25 Disabled Parking Permit

December 14, 2014

The Corporation of Hamilton said they used to issue disabled parking permits for free, however recently implemented a $25 annual fee as since 2008 they “have seen a more than 100% increase in the number of requests for disabled permits as well as an increase in complaints regarding the abuse of the system because the permits are free.”

Bernews received an email from a lady who was upset over her mother being charged the fee, who said: “This constant battle of hitting the Seniors and Handicap people for funds is unacceptable & disgraceful. Seniors and the handicap are spreading the word not to pay $25.00 for the handicap stickers. Protesting in this manner will not be putting any funds in the Corporation’s hands and taking a stand for some justice/relief.”

In response to the complaint, the Corporation said, “In the past The Corporation of Hamilton has issued disabled parking permits free of charge to those individuals identified as disabled by a medical practitioner. Since 2008 we have seen a more than 100% increase in the number of requests for disabled permits as well as an increase in complaints regarding the abuse of the system because the permits are free.

“The Corporation of Hamilton has therefore implemented a small administration fee of $25 as an annual fee and $50 for a replacement fee. Persons who receive the permits will continue to receive reduced rates on parking in the city.

“The City is primarily seeking to assist those with severely debilitating disabilities [e.g. in wheelchairs, unable to walk alone, the sight impaired, mentally challenged persons who require a caregiver, etc.] and wishes to remind the public that the disabled parking permit is issued to the disabled person, not to his/her spouse, relative, friend or caregiver.

“The disabled parking permit may only be used when the disabled person is actually being transported in a vehicle. It is an offence for anyone to use a disabled parking permit, other than the person to whom it has been issued. The permit is designed to be transferrable to whichever vehicle the disabled person is traveling in. Abuse of the privilege may result in the permit being cancelled.

“Members of the public are encouraged to contact the Bermuda Police Service if they see cars not displaying disabled permits parked in disabled bays as they are liable for a ticket. If someone suspects abuse of a disabled permit, please contact the Corporation of Hamilton on 292-1234 so the issue can be investigated.”

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Comments (32)

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  1. Raymond Ray says:

    As a member of the Bermuda Stroke & Family Support Association I also believe it’s absolutely inconsiderate of C.o.H. to be imposing this “fee” on the elderly and handicap.“The Corporation of Hamilton has therefore implemented a small administration fee of $25 as an annual fee and $50 for a replacement fee. Persons who receive the permits will continue to receive reduced rates on parking in the city.
    What would be appreciated if the C. O. H. were to be more diligent in issuing tickets to people that take advantage of handicap parking bays!

    • sebring says:

      what is beyond imagination is why do we need these fools !they are an embarressment and should be kicked out !if Bermuda or bermudians lack talent to run a country with less people that the average football stadium !thye we are really doomed ! do away with all those extras and we will be better off ! on another note did Donald Smith return the 50,000 of the canceled black mayor stunt!

    • Stunned... says:

      these people at COH have lost their damn minds.

    • Mr.Ed says:

      it’s time for step in and stop the Madness! – eventuraly they will have to
      as the COH has gone out of control and begins to affect Bermuda as a whole.

  2. 21st Century says:

    Sadly, the COH mission seems to be to squeeze as much money from the non voting citizens as it can to fund its truly hair brained schemes

  3. somuchless says:

    They can’t clamp and make a profit so now they have to look else where. Worse than the politicians. No wait it’s a tide. Lol

  4. Stuntman says:

    Their agenda is to discourage those with disabilities and the infirm from coming into town as they occupy valuable parking spaces which the CoH can use for revenue.

    The hostility of this latest policy from CoH to those on the margins will inevitably impact the elderly as they also require similar considerations to those above (care givers, etc.). Yet another example of the blinkered, short term, ham-fisted policies City Hall only seems capable off. With an aging population you wonder who dreams this stuff up.

    So who owns this one. Council or technical officers or both?

    Perhaps “Inquiring Minds” can provide insight as he/she is obviously a proxy for the shot callers at CoH

  5. Longtail says:

    Graham, this is a tax on the elderly and handicapped….. nothing less than a human rights issue!!! – I hope it is rescinded ASAP (or are you going to charge my 90 year old mother with trespass now????

    • Strike fund says:

      It’s not nice, but it’s not a human rights issue.

  6. North rock says:

    When are the next Corporation elections ? Serious question……this has got to be over sometime soon.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Instead of penalizing the handicapped & elderly, how about keeping an eye out for those who abuse the sticker/tag whatewver it is, & ticket them. $1000 fine. No leeway for the judge. Doubles for second offence.

    Abuse of the tag in the US is one of my pet peeves. Far too often a car with a tag is seen pulling into a handicapped spot & out hops a young perfectly able person.

    • You can't always tell says:

      You can’t always tell if someone is disabled or not.

  8. Creamy says:

    I don’t really see how charging $25 is going to end any purported abuse, and that’s why this comes across as a money grab from those least able to pay.

  9. Think about it says:

    So let me get this right……I have to pay for the easy pay to park and extra for the permit? How is this helping? Half the time I have to park in a regular bay anyway as there are not enough free disable bays to use. This is not worth the trouble.

    • inquiring minds says:

      Let me help……. if you pay via easy park you are only charged half rate …… yes half rate if you have a disabled pass. You can park in other bays and get half off and supposedly exclusive use of the disabled bays. Unfortunately the selfish people to whom rules do not apply may be using the space for their personal needs so there you have it.

  10. Raw Onion says:

    I know i’ll get dragged over hot coals for this comment but if you can afford a car, maintain it and buy fuel, then you can afford the $25 permit. Stop whining and pay the fee.

  11. inquiring minds says:

    I must be missing something here – clearly most of the comments are either deliberately being silly or chose to ignore the obvious.
    Now I am sympathetic to those persons who have to deal with the ever increasing costs with no benefits, however, persons who can afford a car, license, and insurance. In addition fill it up every week for $80 – $100 per week are complaining about a permit that costs less than 50cents a week and allows you to park for half the price of anyone else, saving you literally hundreds of dollars per year.

    I guess Bermuda is really another world.

    How about we deal with real problems like the fact that the seniors pension is not being addressed correctly. That persons continue to ignore the handicapped spaces and use their Bermudian parking lights to highlight the fact that they are too lazy to walk but just dropping in to pay a bill or pick up a mate that isn’t actually there.

    • Creamy says:

      Yep, I think you’re missing something. Fifteen minutes thought about what it might mean to have a disability.

  12. Rock Watcher says:

    Inquiring minds – you hit the nail square on the head with those comments!!
    Also why are the CoH still clamping cars when the Courts have said it is illegal?

  13. Portia says:

    To Raw Onion and Inquiring Minds,

    The truth is, disabled persons and the elderly have NO CHOICE but to depend on their own transportation, or the transportation of a family member, because Bermuda has not seen fit to set up a para-transit system to help them get around. I say this as the wife of a disabled person who experiences these difficulties first hand.

    Our buses are not accessible. Despite having “wheelchair buses”, a person in a wheelchair cannot ride them, due to 1) the inaccessibility of a great number of our bus stops, 2) the lack of ramps to allow wheelchair users who cannot get up to roll onto the buses and 3) the lack of training for PTB bus drivers as to how to secure a wheelchair with travel straps when the person is on the bus.

    The Project Action Bus, run by a charity, is very good, but frequently oversubscribed due to demand. One bus and one man (thank you Shooby) is not an answer to our para-transit problems, and as much as they would like to take every disabled/ elderly person to and from every appointment, grocery shopping trip, etc who needs it, they cannot.

    So, I see no need to criticize any disabled/ elderly person who chooses to have their own vehicle to simply to do what they need to do. Having a vehicle does not mean they necessarily burn tons of gas driving everywhere everyday, or that they pay for top of the line insurance coverage instead of third-party.

    Furthermore, many elderly and disabled people are receiving some form of Government financial assistance. In fact, the majority of people receiving Financial Assistance are seniors. So, when you talk about them paying for gas and insurance, it is actually WE, the taxpayer who are paying for the gas and insurance. And thanks to Corporation of Hamilton, you will paying the $25 fee for each disabled/ senior person on assistance as well.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Ahhh yes, the very expensive wheelchair accessible buses which are not wheelchair accessible, brought to you by the Great One, the same Tourism/Transport Minister who bought us a 50 year old useless tugboat.

      It is a shame that those who most likely would not even bother have a car have to have one because there is no adequate public transport to get around.

      I am reminded of the Newport, OR. bus system which I rode in last year & had a good chat with the very friendly driver. It is a privately owned company that gets a city paid subsidy to make up for the very cheap fares.

      It runs on a route, sort of, & a time schedule, sort of. The buses are all small, similar to what rental car companys use as shuttles, & all are wheelchair accessible. They are all GPS & radio equipped & are controlled, sort of, by a dispatcher who knows where they are at any time & redirects as needed.

      They have routes, but they deviate from the route to pick up or drop off elderly or handicapped as directed by the dispatcher, giving those who need it door to door service like a taxi, so long as the deviation from route is not far.

      • PBanks says:

        Well, let’s face it. They screwed up in the first place, and right now we don’t have the funds to rectify the situation with regards to public transport and accessibility. Sad all around.

  14. YES we can park for half the price BUT I usually have to park in the most expensive zone because I can’t walk from a car park or cheaper zone that is farther away. My car is my only option for transport, when was the last time you saw a wheelchair on a bus and do you have any idea how few taxi are excesable let alone the cost? The pass is good for a year but every 5 years you have to get another form filled out by your doctor to say you are disabled even if your disability is permanent. Handicapables constantly have to adjust and this is just one more thing no worries. Those of you who think we should just shut up and get on with it, we will, just remember that tomorrow you or someone you love might become a handicapable. Then you will see the big picture and perhaps you will have a bit of compassion.

    • sebring says:

      I Agree! why is the green party and burgess not all over this injustice to the elderly?

  15. BRACSN says:

    As the founder of Bermuda Resources of Children with Special Needs: I find this charge for disable parking permits insulting and not in line with laws or policies all over the world for persons with disabilities PWD.
    Reserved parking for people with disabilities ensures safe and equal access to goods and services, access which most of us take for granted.

    Reserved parking for people with disabilities should be a legal requirement, not just a courtesy. Permits PWD should not have to pay for, plates maybe or repeated issuing of permits but initial permits nor renewals should NOT have a charge.
    This is wrong! If you or your family member has a disability, please indicate your dislike for this fee.

    CoH needs to better monitor who has a disability? I would rather want to know what CoH have tried doing to reduce the abuse before introducing a fee. If the CoH followed our health stats they would find that our chronic illness are on the rise, have they even studied our amputation rate, our RTA incidence.

    Have they considered the following: Qualifying Disabilities For Plates or a Parking Permit for People With Severe Disabilities:

    A qualifying disability is one or more of the following impairments, disabilities or conditions that are both permanent in nature and affect mobility:

    Use of portable oxygen;
    Legal blindness;
    Limited use, or no use, of one or both legs;
    Inability to walk 200 feet without stopping;
    A neuro-muscular dysfunction that severely limits mobility;
    A Class III or IV cardiac condition (American Heart Association standards);
    Severe limitation in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition;
    Restriction because of lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg of room air at rest;
    Any other physical or mental impairment not previously listed which constitutes an equal degree of disability, and imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty.

    CoH educate yourself on alternatives and stop trying to make a buck off of the vulnerable.

    • serengeti says:

      Do you have a website? I would like more info about your organization. Thank you.

  16. Stuntman says:

    To Inquiring Minds and your (CoH) simplistic understanding of the maths:

    Here we have another slow motion public relations train wreak (seems to be never ending) that will take many hours of your time to put lip stick on this pig + public relations consultant + lawyers when these minorities test your policy in the courts, etc.

    So per your calculations – the 50 cents / week you get for this tariff will never offset the costs you are inevitably going to incur implementing your bull headed policy.

    Do you have any empathy for Portia and Walk in my Shoes?

  17. If there is an abuse problem ... says:

    The solution is simple. Require a doctor’s certificate confirming that the individual is, in fact, handicapped.

  18. Navin Johnson says:

    Hopefully the people of Hamilton will remember at the next election…this lot received 105 votes compared to 85 or so for their opponents and look at what they have done? Embarrassment after embarrassment

  19. Watcher55 says:

    Let’s keep it real, how many among us see disabled people parking with disabled badges, freinds, family members this whole system needs proper management