NEW LAWS GOVERNING the use of disabled parking spaces come into effect today, offering new guidelines on who should qualify for a disabled parking permit.
The new rules offer medical guidelines on exactly who should qualify for permits, and guidance to doctors on how to decide whether a patient should be entitled to a permit or not.
Disabled parking spaces will be made wider so that more wheelchair users can use them, while local authorities will also be given the right to impose time restrictions on the amount of time for which cars can remain in a disabled parking bay.
The physical permit issued to holders will also be changed under the new regime, with a credit card-sized permit being introduced.
The reviewed laws come on foot of a review carried out by the Department of Transport under the tenure of Noel Dempsey last year. Current transport minister Leo Varadkar has described the changes as the most positive review of the rules since they came into effect in 1999.