Toronto Police Board to review study on accessible parking permit abuse

Accessible parking spot in Toronto parking lot. Global News

A crackdown on the abuse of accessible parking permits will be top of list when the Toronto Police Services Board meeting convenes on Thursday.

During the session, findings from a board review — commissioned by city council in late May studying alleged abuse and misuse — will be unveiled.

It’s expected that the report will show a 30 per cent increase in abuse since the start of 2017, compared to official numbers from the same time period in 2016. Last year, Toronto police issued just over 16,000 tickets related to the abuse of a parking permit, which was about a 25 per cent increase compared to numbers from 2015.

READ MORE: Toronto councillor suggests crackdown on misuse of disabled parking permits

City Coun. Joe Mihevc told AM 640’s The John Oakley Show that council will be hoping to work with the province at developing a third-party vetting system, similar to one being used by the state of New York and New York City which requires a permit from each.

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“The question we have to grapple with as council is, ‘Do we want an additional system that allows third-party verification?'” said Mihevc. “Not as per your doctor’s recommendation. You actually would have to go through a process.”

Mihevc says that process would involve going through background checks much like the TTC’s Wheel-Trans service in which a candidate must fill out an application. That application would ask questions about a person’s mobility, and require consent from a health-care professional.

“Going through that process is likely to scare off most people whose disability is not real.”

Other deterrents expected to be suggested on Thursday include the prospect of affixing a photo to each permit and increasing fines for violators.

On Tuesday, Mayor John Tory said a copy of the review had been sent to the province ahead of the meeting, and suggested that it’s now up to them to take action.

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“So now the ball is in the provincial government’s court,” Tory told reporters at Highview Park. “I’m not trying to pass the buck. I’m telling you they set the rules.”

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