Demerit points for parking in disabled spots

A 60-year-old woman from Castle Hill reported her disability parking sticker had been stolen on Thursday.

She told police her Saab convertible was parked in the Kellyville Plaza car park when the theft occurred, between 3pm and 6pm.

If that is not annoying enough, she now has the new problem of where to park until her sticker is replaced.

In NSW, anyone caught parking in a disabled car park without holding a valid mobility parking sticker is given a $519 fine — the highest fine for this offence in the country.

But starting Monday, they will also receive a demerit point penalty.

Parliamentary secretary for communities and Hornsby MP Matt Kean said the demerit point penalty could contribute towards licence suspension and also make drivers ineligible for discounted driver's licence renewal fees and reduced insurance premiums.

"Clearly, hitting their back pocket doesn't stop this behaviour so I'll hit them where it really hurts, their licence," Mr Kean said.

"These people selfishly deny vulnerable members of our community close access to buildings and sufficient room to get in and out of their vehicles."

Not that the problem is rife in The Hills, says The Hills acting crime co-ordinator, Sergeant Steve Andrews, who also acknowledges that it's in fact hard to tell.

"We'd only hear about it when it comes to blows but certainly it's a good idea to keep the spaces for the elderly and those who deserve it," Sergeant Andrews said.

■ The public can report abuse of the NSW Mobility Parking Scheme by calling 1300884899.

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