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Danger parking set for blitz.

Thoughtless drivers who block off disabled access points in Darlington could soon find themselves slapped with fines.

In the past few weeks police officers in the town have received a number of complaints about drivers blocking "drop kerbs" - low kerbs designed to make life easier for wheelchair users.

So far, problems have been reported at low kerbs opposite the Post Office in Crown Street; near the Citizens' Advice Bureau in East Row and near the Commercial Street car park.

So, to catch out drivers, police community support officers are being deployed this week in hotspot areas and will be handing out fixed penalty fines for offences.

"The drop kerbs have been installed by borough council engineers to help people with a wide variety of disabilities," said Sergeant Tim Kelly.

"No-one is allowed to park across the kerbs; not even users of the disabled persons blue badge scheme.

"By doing so, motorists are presenting a genuine danger to vulnerable pedestrians, especially those who are blind or partially sighted."

Gordon Pybus, chairman of the Darlington Association on Disability, said: "We are delighted the police are taking this action.

"We have been highlighting for a number of years the problem disabled people face when motorists leave their cars over dropped kerbs.

"Although a great inconvenience to wheelchair users, it can be a real danger to a blind person who can find their way blocked, leaving them stranded on very busy roads."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2004
Words:238
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