Council officers undertake checks for Blue Badge misusers
Friday, 8 November 2019
A recent council crackdown on Blue Badge disabled parking fraud means that six dishonest drivers are facing possible court action.
We undertook an exercise on 24 October and 7 November to ensure that disabled parking permits are valid and being correctly used across Central Bedfordshire.
Blue Badges allow a disabled person to park in a disabled bay. These allocated bays provide a fundamental lifeline for disabled people, allowing them to live independently and go about their daily lives easily by giving them convenient priority parking spaces close to their destination.
During the spot-checks, council officers examined 172 Blue Badges. Out of these, they discovered six instances where the badge holder wasn’t present, which the council will be investigating further. The previous Blue Badge spot-checks earlier this year led to nine successful prosecutions, with fines adding up to over £5,700.
The rules around using Blue Badge parking permits are very clear. It is a criminal offence for a person to use a badge when the badge holder is not present; to use a badge that does not belong to them; to create a copy of a badge; to use an expired badge or to alter a badge. The user could be fined up to £1,000, although this can potentially increase to more than £5,000 in cases of fraud. Anyone who is unsure of the rules should visit the council’s website.
If you suspect someone of illegally using a Blue Badge for parking, you can report them to the council by calling 0300 300 8035 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.