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Strong reaction to the Parliament's “no” to the increase in fines for the disabled – “They showed that there is tolerance”

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Εντονη αντΙδρ&alpha ;ση στο «oχι» της Βουλorς στην αyξη&sigma ;η προστiμου για ΑμΕΑ-«Εδειξαν οτ ι υπàρχει ανοχor» /></p>
<p data-block-key=The angry reaction of the Organization of Paraplegics was caused by the majority of MPs voting against the proposed law regarding the increase in extrajudicial fines for illegal parking in places where people with disabilities park, which was supposed to be increased from three hundred euros to 500 euros.

The law proposal tabled by EDEK member of parliament, Andreas Apostolou, was voted in favor by four members of parliament, while 35 members of parliament opposed and one member of parliament who abstained. The MPs, for their part, pointed out before the Parliament that the existing amount of fines is already a deterrent and insisted on the need for other additional measures to be taken for better driver compliance, with the aim of reducing the number of fines.

< p data-block-key="6h5su">However, despite the fact that a number of MPs believe that the problem with illegal parking in disabled spaces is not that big, the statistics of recent years come to disprove them, as there is a rapid increase in out-of-court fines for illegal parking.< /p>

Indicatively, in 2019 a total of 3624 fines were issued, while in 2020 a steep decrease was recorded, to 1816. In 2021, there were 1195 fines and in 2022 another 1128 fines were recorded, while in 2023 an increase was recorded, since there were a total of 1488 violations. Obviously disappointed by the parliament's “no”, the president of OPAK, Dimitris Lambrianidis, in his statements to the REPORTER, indicated that the course of out-of-court fines “shows the harsh reality, as from 2022 to 2023 there are about 20 -25% increase in fines. We believe that these numbers do not reflect reality because the number of complaints is directly related to the number of checks. Even from this, however, the increase in complaints can be seen”.

Εντονη αντΙδρασ η στο «oχι» της Βουλorς στην αyξησ&eta προστiμου για ΑμΕΑ-«Εδειξαν οτι &upsilon ;παρχει ανοχor» /></p>
<p data-block-key=According to Mr. Lambrianidis, parallel actions need to be taken where there will be more efficient policing, such as towing vehicles that are illegally parked, or even removing license plates, which is also done in other European countries.

< p data-block-key="4f25h">At the same time, the president of OPAK underlined that illegal parking in handicapped spaces is a choice and does not happen by accident, nor out of necessity. “The MPs chose in this way to show citizens who choose to commit illegal acts, that there is tolerance. Some of the justifications we heard in plenary that increasing such fines, could have devastating consequences for the offender and the family because their incomes are low, this does not make sense as a driver chooses where to park and it does not matter if it is poor or rich”.

Mr. Lambrianidis also referred to other examples raised by the MPs, who, according to him, were trying to distract from the essence of the matter, giving the example of illegal parking in Hospitals in case of a serious health problem. “Personally, I am not aware that there are disabled parking spaces outside the First Aid, as the parking spaces are further away. This argument cannot be used to justify those who park in disabled spaces”, added the president of OPAK.

It is worth noting that, after this decision, the Board of Directors of OPAK is going to meet to decide on the actions it will take in the future. “Personally, however, I want to thank the four deputies who had the political courage and responsibility to vote in favor, even if they were the minority and even if their act did not caress the ears of those who choose to illegalize,” said Mr. . Lambrianidis.

Finally, the president of OPAK also reminded that the purpose of the fine is punishment to prevent someone from committing illegal acts, stressing that, “if the our deputies want to take actions to cultivate awareness, respect and culture, they can do it at the same time, but the increase of the fine was put before the parliament, to make it more deterrent. Legitimacy is not a matter of sensitivity, but a matter of responsibility and it should concern them too how they deal with these issues. When we think economically about the amount of extrajudicial fees, the messages outside the society are negative”.

Source: reporter.com.cy

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