Ombudsman investigates abuse of parking space for disabled

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Ombudsman has announced a direct investigation over the use of parking space for the disabled, following reports that the system is abused. 

In the past, only drivers with disabilities holding a Disabled Person's Parking Permit were allowed to use on-street parking spaces designated for people with disabilities.

With effect from January 29, the Transport Department has extended the eligibility to holders of a certificate which says they are carrying passengers with disabilities. 

According to the TD, around 450 on-street parking spaces are currently designated for people with disabilities in Hong Kong. As of mid-March this year, the department has issued 1,816 Disabled Person's Parking Permit and 1,790 certificates for drivers carrying disabled passengers.  

After the implementation of the new measures, the Office of the Ombudsman has received complaints that the measure has aggravated the problem of shortage of parking spaces for the disabled. 

Some certificate holders are even suspected of abusing the system by occupying the designated parking spaces for prolonged periods of time, or parking there while not carrying any passengers with disabilities. 

Ombudsman Winnie Chiu Wai-yin pointed out that the new measure is well-intended. But given the limited supply of parking spaces, people with disabilities who genuinely need to use them will be affected if no effective regulatory mechanism is in place.

Members of the public who have views on the subject can submit them in writing to the Office by October 23.