Dáil Éireann - Volume 545 - 27 November, 2001

Written Answers. - Traffic Regulations.

237. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his proposals in regard to simplifying the process whereby disabled drivers are issued with disabled driver stickers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29489/01]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) regulations, 1997, which came into force on 1 October 1997, introduced a number of significant changes in relation to the application of parking laws to disabled persons in Ireland and provided for a new type of disabled persons parking permit.

The regulations empower local authorities, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association, to grant disabled person's parking permits to a disabled person who is suffering from a disability that prevents that person from walking or causes undue hardship to the person in walking.

In 1998 my Department agreed to make once-off payments of £5,000 to the Disabled Drivers Association and the Irish Wheelchair Association towards the set-up costs for the issue of the new permits. Requests for additional funding for this service have been made by the two associations.

While my Department has no funds at its direct disposal for this purpose, the matter will continue to be explored. I have no proposal to change the existing regulatory provisions regarding the disabled persons parking permit scheme.