iPhone app targets misuse of handicap parking spaces

A new iPhone app has been developed by a Canadian
non-profit company, designed to both help handicapped people find accessible
parking spaces – as well as report inappropriate use of the reserved spaces by
drivers without a proper permit.

Called Parking Mobility, it was developed by Vancouver
resident Campbell MacDonald and his Calgary business partner Craig Spradling,
who suffers from cerebral palsy.

In order to report illegal use of the reserved spaces
the app allows the user to upload a series of photos (the licence plate, the
front windscreen showing there isn’t a placard, and a shot showing the parking
spot) and then automatically adds a GPS stamp to show where the infraction took
place and a time stamp to show when it occurred.

The City of Vancouver is accepting the information at
this stage on a trial basis, without actually enforcing or sending tickets to
the car owners. The council is also working with the system developers to see
how they can integrate the technology with the city system. One problem is that
there are only 50 accessible parking spaces under municipal control. The other
4,000 spaces scattered around town are in private lots, which are not monitored
by the city.

We welcome any additional form of monitoring that is
going to increase the availability of parking spaces for those who are less
mobile and expect that other similar apps will be developed locally in the near
future.  Whilst at this stage the
technology is only available to those with an iPhone handset, it will be an
interesting trial for the power of ‘citizen reporting’ in enforcing parking.

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