At REV Group, it’s our mission to connect and protect customers, especially those who use our ElDorado Mobility wheelchair conversion vehicles. Sometimes, connecting mobility customers starts with something as simple as ensuring a wheelchair accessible parking spot is available. (You’d be surprised how many parking infractions tie up available spaces.) So when we spoke with Mack Marsh about his new Parking Mobility app, we knew right away that we wanted to spread the word about this great tool — after all, it’s our job to better connect our customers.
The free and downloadable Parking Mobility app, available on Google Play or the Apple App Store, offers a simple interface, which allows users to report wheelchair accessible parking infractions quickly and efficiently through “grass-roots efforts.” “Engaging, enforcing and educating since 2009,” app users — AKA casual volunteers — can submit parking violations in five easy steps.
Once the Parking Mobility app is open, simply choose the type of violation you’re reporting, take a few quick photos as instructed on the screen, identify the spot (or create a new one) on the provided map, add the offending license plate number and press submit. That’s it! Over time, these compiled violations help create substantial reports that are sent to local and state officials to help encourage government be more responsive in its enforcement and ultimately create change.
And change is definitely needed.
Mack, who uses a power wheelchair after a spinal cord injury 15 years ago, found an illegally parked vehicle blocking his ramp-equipped van — right in the hospital parking lot. On a few other occasions when Mack’s van was blocked in, he was exposed to heat too long, which caused him to be hospitalized because his body can’t properly regulate temperature.
“Even judges and prosecutors misunderstood the issue,” Mack explained. “Eight out of 10 cases were dismissed because they didn’t recognize the seriousness of the problem.”
But Parking Mobility is working hard to change that through education.
Not only is the organization creating partnerships with communities across the nation to report infractions through the app, which now has a 300,000-person user base, but Parking Mobility is changing perception among violators as well. Working with local government, Parking Mobility has helped introduce a new recourse for violations. Typically, parking violators pay a fine or fight the infraction in court, but now, there’s a third option. Violators can take the Parking Mobility education course, which waives the fine in place of education that Mack says is beginning to create incredible compassion.
In Houston, Texas, despite active enforcement, annual parking violations were climbing toward the 10,000 mark. Then Parking Mobility was introduced. Since its inception, the results have been nothing short of phenomenal.
“Over four years, no one who completed the course re-offended,” Mack said. That’s a stark contrast from a 20-year span in Travis County, where 90% of the cited population had a repeat infraction, and not just once but multiple times. “We’re really proud that Parking Mobility has no repeat offenders, and in fact, several who have gone through the course have asked to become a volunteer. It shows education can make a difference.”
Partnering with Parking Mobility
But Mack is still looking to spread the word about the Parking Mobility app. He needs more advocates, which is where REV Group and ElDorado Mobility come in, and even their dealers.
After speaking with ElDorado’s Marketing Manager Jack Johnston during the Houston Abilities Expo, Mack believes REV Group will be a great advocate.
“We’ve reached out to other interested vehicle mobility conversion companies, but they never seemed to follow through,” Mack said. Meanwhile, Johnston immediately impressed Mack with his understanding of the issue and how it impacts REV’s customers daily. In fact, Mack said, ElDorado Mobility is a key demographic for the app. Not only would REV’s customers be instrumental in reporting infractions but their involvement would help pave the way for more open spots.
“This affects our customers daily,” Johnston said. “So it only makes sense we share Parking Mobility’s story. Not only are they doing admirable things for the mobility community, but our ElDorado Mobility customers could benefit from this app in so many ways.”
Mack also said Parking Mobility is happy to work with dealers to develop new driver packets, providing customers with accessible parking information, including rights, responsibilities and community laws, as well as information about Parking Mobility.
So without further ado, we encourage you to check out ParkingMobility.com and of course, download the app to become a deputized volunteer. As Parking Mobility’s website touts, “the solution is in your hands.”