Blue Badge image
DMF policy has been drawn up after the Hon. Sec. represented us at a conference run by the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh a while ago, after their survey on the subject, and, after Cleveland Police and, we believe, one of the Lancashire forces both held a short blitz on this type of abuse. In all the above cases it was proved that while abuse of parking spaces by persons not displaying a ‘Blue Badge’ occurs, by far the biggest abuse was being carried out by people using other peoples ‘Blue Badges’. We do appreciate that in some parts of the country such as the Southeast and London in particular, there is an additional problem caused by stolen ‘Blue Badges’. However, to the best of our knowledge there has never been a survey done to establish just how widespread or how significant this is.

The DMF would like to see the following instigated:

1.A truly national policy, i.e. the government laying down the rules for disabled parking. This would stop the present appalling situation where disabled people have to know the ‘Bye Laws’ of every authority in the country before parking. Examples:- Skegness only offers free parking in marked bays (result parking on double yellows is rampant), Sunderland does not charge for disabled parking but Chester-le-Street, just next door, does. A true National Policy would mean that if you pay in Cornwall, then you pay in Sutherland and all authorities in between. If you only get free parking in marked disabled bays, then all authorities should give free parking in marked bays. If we are going to pay for on street parking at the meter in Manchester then we should also do so in London. If we are refused access to resident only bays in South Tyneside then so should we in Sunderland etc. We believe that without a system that is the same throughout the country the scheme can never work properly. We do believe that each authority can, and should decide what to charge, but not whether to charge, and when to prosecute, but nothing else.

2. All Blue Badges should be marked with both gender (M or F) and passenger or driver, (P or D), as on the old Orange Badges. We believe that this would make it easier for parking officials to pick out abusers. We also like the idea of bar-coding badges, at present being suggested by the government, although we do worry about the cost. 3.There is absolutely no excuse other than laziness for non-badge holders parking in disabled only bays. Fines should be automatic, as in many parts of the States. Abuse by carers of disabled people is below contempt, for repeat offenders jail would not be too excessive. We would definitely back a bill making it possible for any car-parking official, whether police, traffic warden or private contractor, to confiscate abused badges, returning them when time allows to the owner. If this became policy we would also like to see the badge endorsed and confiscated for good if caught a second time. The Scots have made this kind of abuse a criminal offence under the laws of fraud, this makes sense to us.
3. There is absolutely no excuse other than laziness for non-badge holders parking in disabled only bays. Fines should be automatic, as in many parts of the States. Abuse by carers of disabled people is below contempt, for repeat offenders jail would not be too excessive. We would definitely back a bill making it possible for any car-parking official, whether police, traffic warden or private contractor, to confiscate abused badges, returning them when time allows to the owner. If this became policy we would also like to see the badge endorsed and confiscated for good if caught a second time. The Scots have made this kind of abuse a criminal offence under the laws of fraud, this makes sense to us. 4. We have long carried out a policy of education; the problem is that we can only get that education to those who read what we write. The secretary has long made it plain that those caught abusing their badges need not approach this charity for help. The governments thoughts of an advertising campaign can only do good, this might, for instance, mean handing out a large print guide, or picture guide on the correct use of the badge with every ‘Blue Badge’. It would seem from my observations that very few people look at the conditions of issue and thus simply don’t understand the restrictions of use. Parking on dropped kerbs, in loading bays etc.
5. Above all, zero tolerance policing works. One would not abuse ones cared for’s badge if there was little chance of getting away with it, and the market for stolen badges would immediately dry up. This problem is almost unheard of in most other countries; could it be because people have little or no chance of getting away with it? Quick Rules Here are some quick rules for Blue Badge users: •It is your responsiblity as badge holder to make sure that it is used properly. •Do NOT allow other people to use it. •Make sure that the details on the front of the badge stay legible. If they become unreadable then the badge must be returned to the address it was issued from so that it can be re-issued. •Do NOT use the badge to allow non-disabled people to take advantage of the benefits whilst you sit in the car.
Where you can park 1.in a marked disabled bay ◦Having FIRST checked the local by-laws on the notice (usually by the pay and display machine) ◦if required, pay and display your ticket, blue badge and clock. ◦Tip if you can't find the sign to say it's free to disabled, then pay, it is cheaper than getting a ticket! 2.on single and double yellow lines ◦provided the local police don't consider that by doing so you are causing an obstruction. ◦Display blue badge and clock ◦Note parking time us usually limited to 3 hours but it can be a lot less. 3.You cannot park ◦within 20 metres of a junction ◦on the pavement ◦over a dropped kerb ◦Tip do not park in such a way that it blocks peoples drives or gates - you wouldn't like it. 4.You the person named on the blue badge must be leaving the vehicle
Blue Badge Applications There are several hundred local Social Services departments around the country that issue these badges with Local councils being responsible for issuing Blue Badge parking permits. The following link allows you to enter your Post Code and you will then be directed to your councils' Blue Badge information :- Blue Badge Scheme: Information from your councilGovernment Link. This Gateshead Councils Blue badge Protocol (July 2012) Adobe Pdf Icon link allows you to view a typical councils set up and rules for administering the scheme.
Secure Blue Badge Holder Also from 'Pie'are these single and double secure Blue Badge holders that should help to prevent the theft of your Blue Badge.