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A standard model parking card: helping disabled people stay on the move

A new model parking card for disabled people is now starting to appear on windscreens across the EU. Since the start of the year, Member States along with EEA members, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, have been switching to the new standard format blue card, on which only the country initials differ. This follows a 1998 Council recommendation1 and aims to improve mobility for those with disabilities, especially when travelling from one country to another, and to enable them to benefit from the special parking facilities available to them in each. In addition, the card will make it much easier for police and traffic wardens to recognise that holders, wherever they are from, are entitled to parking concessions and so avoid handing out unwarranted penalties. Of course, responsibility for allocating the card and deciding eligibility remain with existing authorities.

The new card only requires holders to fill in individual details on the back not the front. This meets the concerns of some who feared that displaying their names publicly might threaten their personal safety. When receiving the new card, people will also receive an information leaflet telling them where they can park, where they cannot and the different parking signs to look out for in each individual Member State (and the three participating EEA members). The leaflet was prepared by the Commission.

1 Council Recommendation of 4 June 1998 on a parking card for people with disabilities (98/376/EC): OJ L167, 17.06.98