Parking in Brussels: scan-cars discriminate against disabled people

The automated parking control in Brussels, implemented by the agency via scan-cars, is leading to indirect discrimination on the basis of disability, according to a verdict by the Brussels Court of First Instance. The Brussels parking agency must adapt its practices.

Scan-cars are cars with a camera on the roof which automatically read the license plates of parked cars in order to verify payment for parking. The problem is that the scan-cars are not able to detect the parking permits of disabled people, who are therefore fined even though they have the right to park for free.

Two organisations, equal opportunity centre Unia and Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles (CaWAB), have decided to file for an injunction to put an end to these practices, which are “deemed discriminatory and constitute an unjustified burden for people with disabilities”, the two organisations explained in a statement on Friday.

The practices are “deemed discriminatory and constitute an unjustified burden for people with disabilities”.

Unia had been approached by a person who received nine parking fines over the course of 11 months, even though his disability parking card had been correctly and visibly attached to his windscreen.

The Brussels Court of First Instance found that the automated parking control system - as organised by with the help of scan-cars - does indeed result in indirect discrimination on the basis of disability. Consequently, the Agency must put an end to this practice by taking all necessary measures to ensure that the vehicles identified as being ‘in violation of parking rules’ by the scan-cars do not include vehicles with a parking card for disabled.

The court gave the agency four months to comply with the order, or face fines. It also ordered the victim to be compensated to the tune of 1.300 euros. says it is currently analysing the judgement to decide whether to appeal.




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