Working to ensure carpark label scheme helps genuine cases

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has highlighted the recent revisions of two schemes: the taxi subsidy scheme for persons with disabilities and the carpark label scheme (MSF tweaks taxi subsidies, carpark labels for disabled; July 28).

As one of the largest accessible transport providers for persons with disabilities in Singapore, the Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) appreciates the MSF's enhancements to the taxi subsidy scheme.

This would go a long way towards helping persons with disabilities gain access to affordable means of transport, thereby further empowering them to lead independent lives.

Since the MSF's announcement, many of our members have raised their concerns about the revision to the carpark label scheme and how it would affect them.

Such accessible spaces are scarce in a typical carpark. Hence, it is important that the accessible spaces are provided to those who need them most.

With an ageing population and increasing demand, drivers with disabilities (for Carparking Label 1) and able-bodied drivers carrying passengers with disabilities (for Carparking Label 2) who need additional space to board and alight from their cars safely are currently facing difficulty parking their cars and may find it even more challenging to do so in time to come.

Such accessible spaces are scarce in a typical carpark. Hence, it is important that the accessible spaces are provided to those who need them most.

The proposed carpark label scheme enhancements on the use of the accessible parking spaces are but a small step in the right direction, and they should be made more accessible to those who truly need them.

Ensuring that the spaces are properly utilised remains a challenge.

The HWA has given its feedback to the Government via focus-group discussions and other platforms.

We have raised our members' concerns and given suggestions for more accessible spaces in areas of high demand, and the need for stricter enforcement to prevent abuse.

The HWA will continue to work closely with SG Enable to ensure that the carpark label scheme helps genuinely deserving disabled drivers and their caregivers.

Edmund Wan

President

Handicaps Welfare Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Working to ensure carpark label scheme helps genuine cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe