Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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Garda social media has been very active promoting the success of Operation Enable in the greater Dublin area.

'Operation Enable' is a multi-agency initiative between An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council, Dublin Street Parking Services, the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland and Irish Wheelchair Association.

This operation has been focused on catching and prosecuting drivers who are using fake disabled parking permits and illegally parking in marked disabled parking spaces. At the Joint Policing Committee Meeting in April, Cllr Eddie Mulligan, Fianna Fail, formally requested that Gardaiand Waterford Council extend Operation Enable, to include Waterford.

The Councillor also asked for an update on enforcement of the number of illegally parked cars and other vehicles, in disabled car parking bays. "The availability of wheelchair accessible parking spaces is an essential lifeline for motorists with disabilities. Far, far too often these spaces are occupied by able bodied motorists. It is an offence to park a vehicle in an accessible parking bay, unless you have a current, valid, Disabled Parking Permit!", stated Cllr Mulligan. Cllr Mulligan was informed, in a written reply to his question, that Operation Enable as a standalone operation has not been rolled out within the Division.

However, where An Garda Síochána did observe vehicles parked illegally in disabled bays, without valid parking permits, enforcement action has been taken. A dedicated Operation Enable was to be held on the 1st of March 2018, in Waterford, but due to Storm Emma, it was unfortunately cancelled. This will be rescheduled in line with the National Road Traffic Enforcement Operations Time Table.

At the next Joint Policing Committee Meeting on 11th June 2018, whilst requesting an update on the possibility of a specific extension of Operation Enable to Waterford. Cllr Mulligan was informed that there had been 10 specific enforcements in relation to disable parking bays being illegally used. Cllr Mulligan welcomes the proactive action, being taken by the Gardai. He has emphasised that he would like to see more collaborative work, between Waterford Council and the Gardai on the matter. He would also like to remind ALL members of the public, that they are not permitted to stop in a disabled parking bay, unless they have a valid and suitable permit.

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