A major clampdown on people who abuse the use of Disabled Parking Bays is on the way.

Operation Enable is coming to Donegal as An Garda Síochána, Donegal County Council’s Parking Section, Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association along with the Donegal Joint Policing Committee join forces to clamp down on those who abuse Disabled Parking Bays.

The objective of Operation Enable is to target the unauthorised use of disabled parking bays and disabled parking permits in County Donegal and an additional focus will be to target other forms of illegal parking around the county.

This operation will take place until December 8th.

The Operation was officially launched by Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn at a special event in Letterkenny Public Service Centre.

Speaking at the launch she explained that “this multi-agency initiative will see all members of An Garda Síochána in Donegal including Divisional Roads Policing Units, involved in this operation and the operation will be a focus of daily policing activity around the county. I would request all motorists to park in a responsible manner, particularly now as Christmas approaches with the associated increase in volume of people and traffic in towns around Donegal."

This Operation has been successfully rolled out in other parts of the country since it was first introduced in Dublin in 2016 and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill is confident that it will be a success in Donegal saying:

“Operation Enable is about highlighting the importance of designated disabled parking bays for those who need them.  For both disabled drivers and passengers, access to accessible parking is an essential lifeline. Not only are accessible spaces situated in a convenient location, close to shops, churches or banks they are also larger than other parking spaces.  When accessible parking spaces are not available, motorists with disabilities may not be able to operate a passenger lift, open a door wide enough to enable transferring in and out of the vehicle, or get access to a mobility aid. This campaign is about reminding motorists of why abusing designated disabled parking bays is just not acceptable.”

Cllr Gerry McMonagle, Chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee, added: "This operation is to remind motorists of the need to respect the Disabled Parking Bays in Donegal and to remind Disabled Parking Permit holders of the need to respect the conditions attached to the permits."

PHOTO: Anna May Kelly, Badge user with Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill, Cllr. Niamh Kennedy, Vice Chair Donegal Joint Policing Committee with members of the Garda Síochána at the launch of Operation Enable today which will see An Garda Síochána, Donegal County Council’s Parking Section, Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association join forces to clamp down on those who abuse Disabled Parking Bays. Photo Clive Wasson

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