Dubai: Confusion over new permits issued in Dubai for special needs parking has led to a number of users being slapped with heavy fines by parking wardens and police in neighbouring emirates, Gulf News has learnt.
A number of special needs drivers using stickers for disabled parking spaces have complained that they were given fines by Sharjah police and the municipality parking inspectors for parking their cars in dedicated parking areas despite having the stickers affixed to their car windscreens.
"I have recently got a new and changed special needs parking sticker which was introduced by the RTA (Dubai Roads and Transport Authority) late last year but the Sharjah authorities don't recognise it," said one driver. He said he was told by a policeman that he did not have any information about the new sticker.
When contacted, Lt Col Ahmad Bin Darwish, Head of Anjad Patrols Section, Operations Department at Sharjah Police, told Gulf News that if motorists believed they have been wrongly fined, then they should visit the Traffic Police Department and explain their case to a senior police officer.
A municipality official said that there was currently some misunderstanding surrounding the new disabled parking sticker provided by the RTA in Dubai, as the new logo looks different to the standard logo, which was blue.
Another special needs driver Kumar was shocked to get a Dh1,000 fine for parking his vehicle in a dedicated disabled parking space along the Buheira Corniche in the last week of December.
Kumar said the authorities refused to waive the fine.
However, a senior official at the Licensing Agency at the RTA said they had asked the Ministry of Interior to inform all the authorities about the new special needs parking stickers and the ministry had already done it last month.
"We will also send a direct letter to the authorities concerned to avoid any confusion," he said.
He said that the RTA decided to introduce the new parking stickers with more security features to avoid forgery.
Lt Col Bin Darwish said the number of motorists who illegally park in disabled parking spaces declined dramatically last year.
"Since the fine for parking in a disabled parking space was raised from Dh500 to Dh1,000, people have become more cautious when parking and do not want to risk getting a fine.
"It is a rare incident for the police to make a mistake when issuing a parking fine," he noted.
- Special needs parking permits are issued to physically challenged individuals who wish to travel in a vehicle owned by a first-degree relative or by the applicant himself/herself.
- The parking card allows the vehicle's owner to park in reserved/special areas.
- The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority issues four types of special needs parking cards: blue, red, green and yellow.
- The Blue Card is issued to individuals with a permanent immobility. It is valid for three years and is renewable.
- The Red Card is issued to individuals with temporary immobility (an injury from an accident) and is valid for one to six months.
- The Green Card is issued to vehicles of companies and organisations that transport physically challenged individuals. It is valid for one year and is renewable.
- The Yellow Card is issued to physically challenged visitors to the country and it is valid for the duration of the visitor's stay.