It is the ultimate in paid parking control: the scan-cars of the parking.brussels agency roam the streets of municipalities and spot infringing vehicles using their cameras. It is incredibly effective. But the system reveals flaws.
Vehicles with the PMR card wrongly sanctioned
In principle, people with a PRM card (person with reduced mobility) benefit from free parking, even outside the reserved spaces. However, many of them complain of having received a letter inviting them to pay the half-day rate (generally 25 euros) because the scan-car had not detected their PMR card.
This is the case of Anne Simon, Jettoise mother of a child with multiple disabilities. Even parked on a reserved space, it repeatedly receives fees for unpaid parking. “I am given ten days to pay the 25 euros, but when I submit a complaint, I need 100 days to obtain the refund”, she complains. She is far from taking the matter with philosophy. “Oh no, I hate it. I’m over-angry because I think it’s not right at all to have to prove that we are in our right, to have an administration on the other side that does not adjusts nothing at all. I find that it is even against the law where one has to prove that someone is guilty before making him pay something. Here, not at all. And so, yes, I found that is very brutal and very violent. “
Parking.brussels promises to act
Called on by associations of disabled people and political representatives, the parking agency, parking.brussels, recognizes the problem and tries to resolve it. But it is complex, especially since the PMR card is personal, and not linked to a particular vehicle. A person with reduced mobility can therefore travel in different vehicles, each of which will benefit from free parking, provided that the ad hoc card is affixed there in plain sight. The solution, therefore, of having their license plate registered in the agency’s database is only valid for PRMs with their own vehicle. And for reasons relating to the protection of privacy, this approach can only be voluntary.
Parking.brussels therefore invites the persons concerned to communicate their registration. But more concretely, the agency is committed to simplifying the complaints procedure. “Normally, when you dispute a royalty, in theory you have to pay the royalty before contesting and then you will be reimbursed”, details Pierre Vassart, the spokesperson for parking.brussels. “For a person who is the holder of a PMR card, he is obviously not required to pay if he receives a fee. In addition, the dispute is very simple: it suffices that he sends a small email with his identifier of PMR card and its fee is canceled. “
These errors would not occur with stewards on foot to control paid parking. But taking into account the efficiency of the scan-cars, a reverse gear is not considered.