Does automated parking enforcement respect the rights of people with disabilities?

Since August 16, the city of Toulouse has implemented a new system to better control parking thanks to the automatic number plate reading system (LAPI) through cars that cross the streets every day to suppress free drivers.

A way to encourage drivers who park in one of the 16,300 paid spaces in the Pink City to pay the parking meter, as until now only 30% did so. A device that is far from unanimous and criticized by Odil Maurin, president of the Handi-Social association, who has been elected to the chair for several months as an opposition member, and at the same time campaigns for the protection of the rights of the disabled.

“It adds new constraints”

According to him, this new form of control “violates basic rights by adding additional restrictions” and “discriminates against disabled people”. Prior to the launch, public highway enforcement agents checked that the parking mobility inclusion card (CMI), which allows vehicles to park for free, was properly affixed to the parking dashboard and ruler.

Today, their owners must first declare themselves online on the municipality’s website to participate in the database. ANPR will consult the vehicle after it has passed to check that the vehicle is in good order and may not be subject to a post-parking package (FPS). “But not everyone knows that you have to declare yourself online and carers can also drive. For those who do decide to use parking meters, most are inaccessible, too high, or on sidewalks inaccessible to wheelchairs. This adds restrictions to other restrictions, and these are formalities that do not exist in the Law and make parking difficult,” pleads the elected official who appealed to the administrative court in December last year against the discussions confirming the introduction of this system. .

“In France, many people have been unjustly fined with this system. We are told to register with the database to avoid this, but every time I change departments, it means I have to register again. It adds new restrictions,” laments Anne-Sarah Curtudo, director of Plural Law, a national association working for justice for all.

Not to be limited to the single question of the city of Toulouse, Odile Maury’s lawyer David Nabet-Martin also took over the Constitutional Council for this reason. “The text of the law states that parking is free for people who have a mobility card and is not mandatory for its holders. He also says that ANPR is a pre-screening technology and needs to be approved later. There, in fact, it is not so, “is sure of the person who is thinking of giving a temporary suspension to speed up the procedure.

All to “minimize restrictions,” according to the city

Criticisms that went badly for Toulouse’s security assistant. “I already explained to Mr. Maureen and he plays with words. Pre-inspection is what we do on 100% of our vehicles, with a police officer behind us always monitoring and approving with insight. After checking the database, but also the three applications that allow you to easily declare yourself independently of the parking meter or the driver, “answers Emilion Esnault. For him, doing a field check and then going back to ANPR in every car “isn’t going to change anything”. “The system “When we find a problem with a disabled person’s vehicle, we usually send a scooter agent to the site to check that their card is in good condition,” the elected official assures.

Today, 1,500 people who have CMI declared themselves at the town hall. As part of the 90,000 vehicle inspections carried out by LAPI, among the approximately 35,000 parking permits issued by Toulouse City Hall every month, some are sent to disabled people. Emilion Esnault assures that it multiplies solutions from applications to databases “to minimize limitations”.

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