SINGAPORE: Enforcement agencies issued 2,200 summonses last year for the misuse of parking lots reserved for those with disabilities.
Minister of Social and Family Development Desmond Lee revealed this in a written Parliamentary reply on Monday (Sep 11), in response to a question by MP Cheryl Chan.
However, Mr Lee said the ministry does not have a breakdown on the number of summons issued to Class 2 label holders and those issued to drivers without labels.
A Class 1 label is for drivers who are certified to have physical disabilities that require the use of mobility aids, and allows them to park in an accessible lot. Class 2 labels, meanwhile, are for drivers who are ferrying passengers with disabilities. They are allowed to park in a designated lot for up to an hour to help the passenger with disability, before the vehicle must be moved to a standard lot.
Ms Chan's question was one of four posed by MPs on the recently announced changes to the Car Park Label Scheme for people with disabilities, which is slated to come into effect this November.
The Ministry for Social and Family Development (MSF) revealed in July that the scheme will be tightened such that only those who use bulky mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking frames will be eligible, amid rising demand for accessible lots. This caused concern among those that may be affected by the new rules.
It subsequently clarified that the labels will be issued to those who are medically certified as having physical disabilities and require additional space to board and alight from their vehicles, and those with medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy can also apply for the labels based on their condition and needs.
This was reiterated by Mr Lee on Monday, when he said: "I would like to assure members that MSF and SG Enable will exercise flexibility when applying the new eligibility criteria and look at the physical needs and condition of each applicant, even if they do not fully meet the default eligibility criteria."
It also clarified questions about the Disabled Persons Scheme (DPS) under which drivers with disabilities are exempted from paying premiums for Certificates of Entitlement and the additional registration fee when they buy a vehicle.
MSF said there are around 165 people on the scheme, which make up 81 per cent of those who also hold Class 1 labels, and not all DPS beneficiaries apply for the label as they may not require the additional space afforded by these accessible lots.
The two schemes serve slightly different needs, and thus individuals on DPS do not, by default, also need a CPLS Class 1 label, Mr Lee said.