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Car Park Label Scheme revised for those who need lots the most

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) thanks Mr Darren Chan and Mr Francis Cheng for their feedback and suggestions (“Let all with disabilities have access to parking lots” and “New Class 2 label prone to abuse”; Aug 1).

Fatima Mustafa, Director, Disability Office, Ministry of Social and Family Development

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) thanks Mr Darren Chan and Mr Francis Cheng for their feedback and suggestions (“Let all with disabilities have access to parking lots” and “New Class 2 label prone to abuse”; Aug 1).

The revision of the Car Park Label Scheme from Nov 1 is intended to ensure that those who require accessible lots the most can be better assured of their availability.

This is part of a larger effort to enable ease of accessibility of our built environment.

Other initiatives include increasing the number of accessible lots, having more barrier-free drop-off points and enhancing the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for persons with disabilities.

The revision is necessary because demand for accessible lots has been increasing, especially as our population ages.

We will increase the number of such lots where space allows, but there is a limit to how much we can do so given Singapore’s land constraints.

Under the new eligibility criteria, car park 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.

Drivers using bulky mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, walking frames and lower-limb prostheses, will be eligible for Class 1 labels, which will allow them to park in accessible lots with no time restriction.

Those with medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy can also apply for the labels based on their condition and needs.

We are also prepared to consider those who may require the labels given their condition, even if they do not fully meet the default eligibility criteria.

The Class 2 label is for vehicles ferrying passengers with physical disabilities regularly. It will allow the carer-driver to park in a designated lot for up to 60 minutes to assist the passenger to board or alight.

Thereafter, the vehicle must be shifted to a standard lot to free up the accessible lot for other eligible users.

To curb indiscriminate use of accessible lots, stiffer penalties have been in place since December 2015, when the fine for first-time offenders was increased from S$50 to S$200.

We are working with enforcement agencies to strengthen enforcement. The National Council of Social Service has also conducted public education to increase awareness of the appropriate use of accessible lots.

The MSF is also working with social service organisations to provide clarity for persons with disabilities on the revisions to the scheme.

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