Carpark Safety for Mobility-Enabled Vehicles and Their Occupants
Regardless of the type of vehicle, every carpark is required by law to provide a safe and suitable environment for both drivers and passengers. There are, however, specific essentials for mobility-enabled vehicles that building owners must provide to those who use their facilities.
There are accessible parking spots in various establishments. A carpark with at least 25 spots, for example, ideally needs two dedicated accessible areas for people who drive or use mobility-enabled vehicles.
Common Safety Requirements
Below are some of the most common safety requirements in carparks for mobility-enabled vehicles:
1. Marked signs
A parking spot meant for mobility enabled car or van needs to have clearly marked signs. The public can see this space right away because of the stencilled white wheelchair icon with the blue background, which is the international designation for handicap parking.
2. Proximity to the building entrance
Carparks designated for mobility-enabled vehicles are usually located closer to the door of the building’s entrance. For obvious reasons, its drivers and occupants must be accorded the shortest route so that they won’t have a harder time going in and out of the building.
3. Proper lighting
The parking area must have consistent proper lightning if there are dark and shadowed spaces. Ideally, the lights should be efficient low-level types and not harsh spotlights that could affect the driver’s visibility. The lights must be carefully installed out of the reach of vandals. Defective bulbs should be replaced immediately.
4. Gripped surfaces
Carparks must have gripped driving surfaces so that any vehicle can properly navigate the area. The surface must be roughened, sanded or gritted if it’s too slippery or smooth. The parking spots must be free of rubbish and debris, as well as grease, oil and water spills that might cause accidents.
5. Efficient barrier checks
If there are automatic barriers or gates in these mobility-enabled vehicle carparks, the owner of the building must ensure that these mechanisms won’t impede handicap users, especially those with impaired vision or hearing. The safety gates must be regularly inspected and assessed to prevent entrapment and other injuries.
Some states in Australia, however, might require the complete removal of the barriers to lessen the possibility of accidents. Check with your local council for the specifics on this requirement.
Type of mobility vehicle carparks
There are two different types of parking spaces for mobility-enabled vehicles:
· Standard carparks
This special parking space is what you often see in your place of work or any public building. It is meant for wheelchair-bound people who have sedans, SUVs, or vans that have no ramps and lifts. This standard carpark for mobility vehicle is at least 60-inch wide. It is slightly bigger than an average parking space so that passengers with mobility aids can easily get in and out of the car. However, this space cannot accommodate a mobility vehicle with a side entry.
· Van carparks
This parking area is about 96-inches wide with white diagonal stripes on both sides. It is meant for transportations with a ramp or lift on one side, both sides or at the back, as with many vans. Mobility vehicles with ramp or lifts need to park in this spot so that there’s ample room to move in and out of the car.
Carpark safety etiquette for accessible parking
It’s common courtesy to use the special carparks only if you have a valid Australian Disability Parking Permit. Unless your mobility vehicle has a side entry, you are also expected to only park at the standard accessible parking space for the handicap.
The parking permit usually comes with a placard that you have to display on the vehicle. This placard is not supposed to be lent, as there are strict fines and penalties for its misuse. The permit must be regularly renewed as well.
Are you planning to get a mobility-enabled vehicle? Motoring Mobility has a good selection, either for sale or rent, which might fit your needs. Let us know how we can help you!