Parking concessions for home care workers included in the new Road Traffic Act
As of 1 June 2020, the amendment to the new Road Traffic Act will provide parking concessions for home carers and care workers who provide similar visiting care.
On 7 May 2020, the Government proposed that the President of the Republic adopt an amendment to the new Road Traffic Act to improve the efficiency of social and health care services that include home visits by providing parking concessions to the service workers. The Government also proposed that the Act be supplemented by certain provisions resulting from changes elsewhere in legislation.
- The legislative amendment facilitates the everyday lives of homecare workers and improves customer service. In future, municipalities may, on their discretion, issue parking permits for home care. While less time is needed to find a parking spot, more time can be spent on the important work and meeting people, says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
The new provisions will make it possible for home carers and employees providing similar services to park their vehicles without a time limit and free of charge in parking lots of the municipal street network. In addition, home carers will be allowed to park on the streets where parking is prohibited by the road sign "No parking" (C38) or "No parking zone" (C39). In residential areas marked as such with a road sign, the home carers' parking permit would also allow parking outside the marked parking spaces.
In addition, regardless of the "Driving in service purposes allowed" (H25) prohibition sign, parking permit holders could drive a vehicle into the prohibited area and park the vehicle there.
In order to use the parking concessions for home care, the vehicle must have a parking permit issued by the municipality. The permit may be granted to the individual workers or to the company, association or public body offering home care for the purposes of providing the statutory healthcare and social welfare services. However, the parking permit does not entitle to park in a courtyard of a residential property, if the area is outside the street network maintained by local authorities.
The supplementary amendment to the Road Traffic Act concerning home care parking is based on a statement by Parliament that was adopted at the same time as the Road Traffic Act. Parliament called for legislative amendments to be drafted in order to facilitate the parking for home carers.
Provisions already in use also put forward as supplements
Due to the current state of emergency caused by the corona epidemic, in connection with the parking provisions, Parliament also adopted the inclusion into the new Road Traffic Act of the provisions concerning the use of the so-called HCT vehicle combinations approved for road transport at the beginning of 2019. Previously, provisions on HCT vehicles were laid down in a government decree.
Parliament also adopted a seven-year transition period for the posting of new signs indicating two-way cycle tracks. This amendment will ease the financial burden placed on road maintenance operators because of the road sign posting. In addition, time will be allocated for the planning and building of high-quality cycling routes.
What are the next steps?
The President of the Republic is expected to approve the amendments to the new Road Traffic Act on 8 May 2020.
They will enter into force at the same time as the new Road Traffic Act, on 1 June 2020.
The Government proposal for an Act amending the Road Traffic Act and related acts (Government proposal 17/2020; the so-called corrective package) is still being discussed by Parliament.
Information on the reform of the Road Traffic Act is available on the website of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom at www.tieliikennelaki2020.fi.
In social media, the hashtag for communications on the Road Traffic Act is #tieliikennelaki2020.
Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295342304