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Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), Maria Holder-Small (right), along with others at the Wheelchair Block Car Park Event at Carter’s General Store yesterday.

 
   

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Prosecute them!

3/14/2014

By Patricia Thangaraj

The Government of Barbados needs to enact legislation that would prosecute able-boded citizens who take up parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

This call is coming from Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), Maria Holder-Small, who spoke to the media after a Wheelchair Block Car Park Event at Carter’s General Store yesterday.

She said that this is what is needed in order for people to take this issue seriously.

“I think that it is taking too long for us to get the legislation passed for us to see that this is a necessity. We need to make it legal. If we can make this legal, people then would have a greater respect to know that this parking space is not for me, it is for someone who needs it.

“As far as I know, the White Paper is written, probably sitting on someone’s desk. This is a battle that we have been fighting for 12 years. So only the higher forces in politics …can tell us why it is taking so long. I have seen laws which came up after and they were passed in no time. But it has been 12 years since we have been fighting this. The Barbados Council for the Disabled has been fighting this, but we are no where closer to where we were a couple of years ago. We are still at that standstill as to when would it become legal,” she lamented

Holder-Small said that until this legislation is passed, all they can do is to continue to lobby for the cause when they see abled-bodied persons parking in disabled parking spots, even though at times it feels as if they are fighting a losing battle.

“So it is challenging. Sometimes when you go into supermarkets, you can’t find a disabled parking space and if you hold on a little longer, you would see persons who are able-bodied just strut out of the supermarket or wherever, get in their vehicle and go about like it is nobody’s business. And if you should mention to them, ‘You know, why are you doing this?’ sometimes they curse you and tell you where to get off. So it is like you are in a losing battle because of the fact that we really have no law to back us up.”

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