Parking bill moves toward law — with help from P.E.I. teen
Former Easter Seals ambassador Hannah MacLellan advised government on changes to Highway Traffic Act
Parking in an accessible parking spot without authorization is about to become a pricier proposition, thanks to a former Easter Seals ambassador.
A bill passed second reading in the legislature Wednesday that would double fines for illegally parking in designated spots. The bill, which would also change outdated language in the Highway Traffic Act, is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law.
The fines for unauthorized use of accessible parking would increase from $100 to $200.
Hannah MacLellan, a Grade 12 student at Charlottetown Rural High School who was P.E.I.'s Easter Seals ambassador in 2011, advised government on changing wording in the act from "disabled parking spaces" to "designated accessible parking spaces," and from "persons with physical disabilities" to "persons with mobility impairments."
As a young Islander living with a physical disability, I believe it is time for the language on the accessible parking signs to evolve in a positive manner.– Hannah MacLellan
"As a young Islander living with a physical disability, I believe it is time for the language on the accessible parking signs to evolve in a positive manner," said MacLellan, who is also an accomplished para-swimmer, in a release.
"I'm ecstatic to see these changes put into place."
6,500 Islanders use spaces
The PEI Council of People with Disabilities applauded the bill, noting more than 6,500 Islanders use the Designated Parking Program every year.
"We believe the increased fines will be a deterrent and help prevent misuse of the designated accessible parking spaces," said executive director Marcia Carroll.
"We value the use of appropriate language as it is always beneficial in moving the disabilities rights movement forward, and we congratulate Hannah on her work in bringing about these changes."
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