NAMBUCCA Shire Council is reminding motorists to think about where they park, following concerns raised by people with physical disabilities who use wheeled walkers or electric gophers.
Council is imploring that people refrain from parking across concrete footpaths, including where vehicles might be ‘stacked’ in a driveway but where a vehicle protrudes from the property and blocks the public footpath.
The NSW Road Rules 2014 state that a driver must not stop on a bicycle path, footpath, shared path or dividing strip, or a nature strip adjacent to a length of road in a built-up area.
They also provide that a driver must not stop on a road in a position that obstructs access by vehicles or pedestrians to or from a footpath ramp or a similar way of access to a footpath, or a bicycle path or passageway.
Penalties for these offences are currently a very substantial $3223.
Mayor Rhonda Hoban said it is an important issue in the Nambucca Valley, which has a much higher proportion of elderly people than the NSW average.
“It is a thoughtless and uncaring act to block a footpath or pedestrian ramp and thereby force those with a physical disability to discontinue their journey or worse still, force them out onto the road and the risk of colliding with a vehicle,” Cr Hoban said.
“The council is steadily building an extensive network of dedicated footpaths and shared paths for use by all of our residents to improve their general health and well-being. I won’t have this work and the council’s reputation compromised by a handful of people who do not respect the rights of pedestrians.”
Nambucca council said it does not like having to issue fines and would prefer that residents heed the road rules and give a little bit of thought to why those road rules are in place.
The process the council adopts is to provide education about compliance issues and then, if required, issue fines to culprits.