Drivers beware! As of April special parking spaces aimed exclusively for the elderly, pregnant, and handicapped have been introduced across the country. The special parking zones are located in regular no-parking zones and without an eagle eye and knowledge of kanji are hard to distinguish from regular roadside parking spaces.
If you park in one of these spaces and do not have the special permit on display in the front windshield area of your car you can expect your car to be either ticketed or towed; drivers of large class vehicles get a fine of 23,000 Yen, regular class vehicles 17,000 Yen, motor-cycles or mopeds 11,000 Yen. If you are unfortunate enough to have your vehicle towed expect an extra 14,000 Yen on top of the fine to recover your vehicle.
The new spaces are only available for use with a special parking permit by drivers of regular class vehicles (普通自動車); some vehicle weight limits apply. Only drivers that are either handicapped, over 70 years old, pregnant, or are within 8 weeks of having had a baby are eligible to apply.
■How to Apply
You can apply at any police station. A relative or an appointed proxy (dairi-nin 代理人) can also apply on your behalf. To apply you will need an application form, a valid driving license, and your car’s automobile inspection certificate 自動車検査証. Expectant mothers will also need to bring their Maternal and Child Health Handbook (Boshi Kenko Techo 母子健康手帳); a certified letter from a doctor showing proof of pregnancy is also acceptable.
Application forms are available at police stations, but if you want to fill one out before going you can also download one from the Aichi Prefectural Police Website – http://bit.ly/senyoparking
Currently there are only a handful of locations in Nagoya City, but these will increase rapidly over the next few years. These include parking spots and Heiwa Koen in Chikusa Ward, outside Higashi Ward Office, Nakamura Koen, Meijo Hospital and Nagoya City Hall in Naka Ward, Showa Post Office and Nagoya City University Hospital in Showa Ward, and around Tempaku Ward Office and Tempaku Koen.
Special permit application form = kōreisha-untensha-tō – hyōshō shinseisho 高齢運転者等標章申請書
Maternal and Child Health Handbook = boshi kenko techō 母子健康手帳
Permit holders only = hyoshosha senyō 標章車専用
Automobile inspection certificate = jidōsha-kensa-shō自動車検査証 画像