For 6 years, the #EnAble? campaign contributes to the release of parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities in Romania

For 6 years, the #EnAble? campaign contributes to the release of parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities in Romania

• More than 1,200 dedicated parking spaces convey the message of the #EnAble? campaign.
• Over 8,700* vehicles are adapted for drivers and passengers with disabilities in Romania;
• 255 cinema halls play the video of the #EnAble? campaign, in 21 cities;
• Four awareness events held in the parking lots of partner stores, together with Police representatives.

This year the #EnAble? campaign ** celebrates 6 years since its launch. Since November 2017, the message for the release of parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities and abusively occupied promotes the right of these drivers and passengers to park near the access to shops, shopping centers, parks or other public places.

“There are many reasons why it is very important to park in one of the dedicated spaces. The most important thing is that I need to open the door to the maximum to be able to assemble or disassemble my wheelchair, to get in or out of the car and to be able to move freely around the city whenever I need.
I’ve been driving since 2011, even if I’m a wheelchair user. I go shopping alone or in public places, and I’m happy when I find free parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities. But this happens, unfortunately, quite rarely. Most of the time I have to make several rounds through the parking lot until I find a free place.
The message of the #EnAble? campaign it should reach as many car drivers without disabilities as possible, because it is important that they know about us, that we too can be car drivers, and that we need to find free marked places.”, Adrian Chereches, car driver, wheelchair user and independent living trainer at Motivation Romania Foundation.

The campaign targets non-disability drivers and pedestrians, as well as future drivers who are unaware of the need for people with disabilities in Romania to park in marked public or private parking spaces. Until now, the message has reached over 1,200 dedicated parking spaces, from over 140 localities in Romania.

Along with the promotion of the right to park in the spaces intended for this category of drivers, the campaign is also addressed to people with disabilities, who are urged to become active and independent again, to enjoy a normal life.

According to the data provided to Motivation Foundation, year by year, by the Romanian Auto Registry, between January 2012 and July 2023, over 8,700 vehicles adapted for drivers and passengers with disabilities were registered at national level.

On the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the #EnAble? campaign since this autumn, the video message “People with disabilities do not want a dedicated parking space, but they need it” has reached the screens of 255 cinemas in the Cinema City Romania network, in 21 cities in the country.

The same clip is broadcast for the first time in the city of Iasi, on the entire fleet of buses. The campaign thus expanded, this year, from Bucharest to 4 new cities – Timisoara, Constanta, Galati, Iasi. However, the message of the campaign is present under the eyes of the traffic participants, to convince them to adopt or promote themselves a responsible behavior towards the rights of drivers with disabilities.

In order to convey the message directly to drivers, throughout 2023 Motivation organized four awareness-raising actions together with representatives of the General Directorate of Local Police and Control of the Municipality of Bucharest and the Brasov County Police Inspectorate. These took place in the parking lots intended for the general public within the partner shopping centers and consisted of the direct approach of non-disability drivers who abusively occupied the places dedicated to people with disabilities.

“Through this partnership, carried out in September in the parking lots of the IKEA stores in Baneasa and Pallady, we wanted to sensitize both the customers who visit the stores as drivers, as well as colleagues, regarding the importance of respecting the right to parking spaces intended for people with disabilities. The campaign informed customers with the help of promotional materials, posters or information panels, and directly approached drivers to highlight the importance of following these rules. Thus, we want to contribute to changing behavior and educating the public about respect for people with disabilities, because respecting these parking spaces is essential to ensure inclusion and accessibility for all customers, regardless of their physical abilities.”, declared Raluca Mocanu, Sustainability Specialist IKEA Romania.

“These activities do not have a punitive purpose, but aim at the prevention and awareness of drivers regarding the legal restrictions in general, as well as the particularization of this segment regarding the persons entitled by law to occupy those places with the international marking. If in 2021 43 sanctions were applied based on Law 448/2006, by the Road Traffic Service, with a value of 24,000 lei, in 2022 they were applied by the Road Traffic Service and Public Order and reached 73, with a value of 60,000 lei.
This year, from January 1 to November 21, fines were applied by three departments: Road Traffic Service, Public Order and Event Intervention Service, and reached a total of 221, with a value of 240,000 lei. Statistically speaking, it seems like an increase in the number of fines, but, in fact, it is about the involvement of several structures. We believe that, lately, more drivers have become aware of the legal and moral obligation to stop occupying the parking spaces designated and reserved according to the law for people with disabilities. We hope that this will become a normal thing,” said Marius Vasile, Head of the Bucharest Traffic Police Service.

“Motivation Foundation is more than real support for people with disabilities. This team always responds positively to our requests and initiatives for correct information among visitors from shopping centers, who abuse the parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities. The last action carried out together at the Drumul Taberelor Commercial Center was successful, generating constructive reactions among the approached customers. The presence of the Romanian Police, a key element of the action, was possible thanks to Motivation representatives!” said Iuliana Aldea, Marketing Manager of Drumul Taberelor Shopping Center.

“Brasov Police proudly announce the continuation of the projects with Motivation Romania Foundation in a joint effort to raise awareness of the importance of respecting parking spaces intended for people with disabilities. Together we carried out awareness and information campaigns for Brasov community, regarding the specific needs of a person with disabilities and the importance of parking spaces reserved for a person with these disabilities. In our actions, Brasov Police distributed informative materials, and when the situations in which flagrant violations of these rights were found, sanctions were applied to ensure their compliance. This collaboration represents a firm commitment in support of the rights of people with disabilities and in the promotion of a more inclusive community, for which we remain with Fundatia Motivation Romania in our joint efforts. We are dedicated to building a society in which all citizens must enjoy equal rights and non-discriminatory access, and through our actions we hope to inspire and encourage positive changes in the mentality of Brasov society,” said Daniel Zontea, spokesman for the Inspectorate of Brasov County Police.

We thank all the partners who support the campaign and encourage the release of parking spaces dedicated to people with disabilities at the national level: Lidl Romania, IKEA Romania, Magnolia Shopping Center in Brasov, General Directorate of Local Police and Control of Municipality of Bucharest, Brasov County Police Inspectorate, Center Drumul Taberelor Commercial Bucharest, Cinema City Romania, Mega Image Romania, Sun Plaza Bucharest, Shopping City Buzau, Shopping City Targu Jiu, Coresi Shopping Resort Brasov, Felicia Shopping Center Iasi, Magnolia Shopping Center Brasov, Park Lake Shopping Center Bucharest, ProClinic Galati, Shopping City Severin, Shopping City Galati, Suceava Shopping City.

*8,717 is the total number of vehicles adapted and approved for passengers and drivers with disabilities in Romania. The figure refers to the period January 2012 – July 2023 and is provided by the Romanian Car Registry at the request of Motivation Romania Foundation.
**The idea of the campaign was outlined within the “8 hours overtime for a good cause” project of Bucharest Community Foundation, a project carried out in March 2017, which brought together professionals from several professional areas and NGOs.

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