East Meadow, NY – As the spring season begins and County parks and facilities are soon to be filled with residents, visitors and various sporting leagues, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder unveil “Operation Accessibility” to crack down on Accessible Parking violators. The plan will increase monitoring and enforcement throughout the spring in County lots, starting with the County’s 30 parks, to ensure that ALL residents have access to the parking they deserve. As part of the crackdown, the County is also looking into their Accessible Parking signage to ensure that the spaces are clearly identified.
“Our parks see upwards of a million visitors each year and we often see an increase in Accessible Parking violations in the spring and summer seasons, leaving our neighbors in need with nowhere to park. A long walk in the heat can be a dangerous circumstance for people with disabilities and make an everyday task a significant challenge,” said County Executive Laura Curran.
“Assessable Parking for all of our drivers is an important quality of life issue for our residents who require a permit. We should all be mindful that even stopping for a brief period in a Handicapped designated spot can cause hardship and confusion for those who require that spot,” said Commissioner Ryder. “Let’s all work together to keep these designated spots open and avoid the possibility of being issued a summons.”
“I want to urge residents – do NOT wait in the space – you WILL still get ticketed and the penalties are steep – starting at $255 for a first offense,” said Curran. “I strongly encourage local municipalities to join the effort to protect and support our residents.”
Approximately 11% of New Yorkers live with a disability and more than 50% of disabilities are most often not apparent. In 2018, nearly 1,800 violations were issued for Accessible Parking offenders in Nassau County. Half of the revenue generated from these parking tickets goes directly to Nassau County’s Office of Physically Challenged for their programming while the other half goes to the Traffic Safety Board.
Residents with disabilities including Laura Nugent Carter from Baldwin and Charlie Schneider from Great Neck joined the press conference to share their experiences and to urge drivers, especially delivery vehicles, not to hog the spot.