You are driving round town desperately looking for a parking space, but the only ones free are for disabled parking ...
If you are tempted to sneak in to the disabled spot while you do a quick bit of shopping or pay a bill — think again.
A new app available in Whanganui is geared to dob in able-bodied motorists who pinch a disabled space.
Access Aware, developed by CCS Disability Action, is a free app available through Google Play or the Apple Store and it is being rolled out across New Zealand. It was developed in an effort to revolutionise the reporting of abuse of mobility parking.
General manager of CCS Disability Action's Whanganui branch, Janine Richards, said the app was vital.
"Research into mobility parking abuse in New Zealand has shown that there has been no improvement in over 10 years. The increase in fines from $40 to $150 has been no deterrent," she said.
Users who download the app can use it to report cases of somebody stealing a park for the disabled.
The app also has a mapping function that allows users to pinpoint where mobility parks are — information that is required in Whanganui.
"It is not known how many mobility car parks there are in the city, either in the public or private space," Ms Richards said.
"This is why the location report will assist in making the data available."
During two pilots last year, the Christchurch City Council and Wellington City Council parking and enforcement teams received Access Aware reports in real-time.
No conversation has been had between CCS Disability Action Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council yet, but Ms Richards said they would be looking into it.
Until those talks happen, Whanganui residents can report abuse on the Access Aware app, but it will not result in infringement notices being dished out.
However, the data would be used to compile statistics such as the number of reports made, the most abused locations and the times of day misuse occurs most.
Ms Richards said when people abuse disability parking, the people who need those parks often return home having not completed their business.
"They may be unable to keep doctor's appointments, go to the bank or supermarket if mobility car parks are not available."