Parking spaces in Greater Kaohsiung for the disabled are not available to all disabled drivers and the spaces provided are not free either. Kaohsiung’s Social Affairs Bureau has recently received complaints from a number of disabled drivers asking why they must pay to park and why some of them cannot even apply for disabled parking. The bureau says that the special permits for parking in handicap spaces are for parking only and are not meant to provide discounts to the disabled.
The Greater Kaohsiung Government has in recent months increased the number of parking spaces for scooters as well as parking spaces for handicap scooter drivers, but the bureau has received a number of complaints from disabled drivers about having to pay for parking, even if they have handicap parking permits.
The bureau says that according to regulations for handicap parking, spaces designated as handicap parking are meant for owners of vehicles who are wheelchair-bound, and says that government-issued parking permits for handicap parking are to be used only for identity purposes and not as IDs for getting discounts or getting things free of charge.
The bureau also says that permits for handicap parking spaces for scooters are issued to disabled drivers who have passed inspections verifying that their scooter has been customized with two wheels at the back instead of one or they have a mobility scooter, adding that drivers who own regular two-wheel scooters are not eligible to apply for special parking permits.
Since regulations regarding discounts for parking are stipulated by local governments, the amount of discounts and the methods of inspection differ from city to city. Discounts on parking for disabled drivers in Kaohsiung are currently available for car owners only, without having to display a permit. The Kaohsiung Transportation Bureau is still in the process of reviewing whether similar discounts will be offered to handicap scooter owners in the future.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)