Base clamps down on disabled driver

CLAMPED: Being paralysed from the chest down counted for little when Danielle Adams, with her niece Ada, was caught parking in a disabled car park at The Base.
CLAMPED: Being paralysed from the chest down counted for little when Danielle Adams, with her niece Ada, was caught parking in a disabled car park at The Base.

If there's anything more annoying than lazy bozos parking in disabled car parks, it's parking whitecoats wheel-clamping the vehicle of a genuine paraplegic.

Take the case of wheelchair-bound Frankton 24-year-old Danielle Adams, who had her Holden Viva clamped this week at The Base shopping complex for the second time.

On the first occasion her disabled parking permit had fallen off the dashboard. On Thursday she mistakenly left home with an expired permit rather than the current one. Within 30 minutes of parking outside The Warehouse her car had been clamped.

That's fair enough, given that under rules governing the use of mobility parking spaces, the onus is on permit holders to ensure their permit is valid and clearly visible.

But upon seeing Ms Adams paralysed from the chest down it is obvious she is genuinely disabled, if slightly mistake-prone with her permit.

Nevertheless, Ms Adams initially was told it would cost $150 to unclamp her car and if she had a problem with that, she should go upstairs and see The Base management.

"Yeah, right," Ms Adams said. "How was I going to get up there?"

Sending her sister up was no solution either, because she has Down's Syndrome.

Ms Adams said she was stranded for about 40 minutes before being able to find a sympathetic ear.

"I made a mistake, but it's not like I was trying to get away with anything," she said. "It was really frustrating."

As the Waikato Times arrived, an employee removed the clamp from her car without charge.

Ms Adams appreciated The Base was working hard to protect disabled parks from other shoppers, but wished there was more scope for common sense to be applied.

The Base manager Dennis Billman said he was not authorised to speak to media and referred inquiries to Tainui Group Holdings property manager Nathan York, who was not available for comment.

Waikato Times