As the Finnish population is ageing and the need for home care is growing, the Finnish Government is considering providing caregivers with some advantages when traveling through cities.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has requested opinions on a Government's draft proposal to address the problems home carers have with parking their vehicles when they make home visits. To improve the situation, the Government proposed amendments to the new Road Traffic Act, which will enter into force on 1 June 2020.
According to the proposal, home care workers would not have to observe some of the parking restrictions in place in Mainland Finland. Their parking opportunities would be improved in the same way as the law currently provides for persons with disabilities, explained the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Parking in prohibited areas
The new regulation would allow unlimited and free parking in parking spaces on streets maintained by local authorities. In addition, home carers could park on the streets where parking is prohibited by "No parking" (C38) or "No parking zone" (C39) road signs.
In residential areas, the home carers' parking permit would also allow parking outside the marked parking spaces.
Regardless of the "Driving in service purposes allowed" (H25) prohibition sign, parking permit holders could drive a vehicle into the prohibited area and park it there.
"We want to make it easier for home care workers to find a parking space so that they have more time for care work. Free parking and extending the care workers' right to park are changes which we have been waiting for, and I believe that there is broad support for this legislation in society," says Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin.
Municipalities will issue permits
The proposal estates that each municipality would have to issue the parking permits to home carers, either to the individual workers or to the company, association or public body providing the care.
A home carer's parking permit would only entitle the driver to breach the parking restrictions on the streets, but not on other roads or off-street, for example in a courtyard of a residential property. It would not be valid either to park on private roads, highways or off-road.
These amendments are based on a resolution approved by Parliament at the same time when it adopted the Road Traffic Act. Parliament called for legislative amendments to be drafted in order to facilitate the parking of home carers and care workers who provide similar visiting care.
The deadline for comments is 3 December 2019.