SIX people have been successfully prosecuted for using someone else’s blue badge in separate cases brought by Herefordshire Council in October 2021.
Herefordshire Council issues blue badges to residents who are disabled and often have severe mobility problems. This enables them to park close to the vital services they need to use.
Misusing a blue badge is a criminal offence and the fines for the six guilty parties, which included costs, totalled over £4,000.
Two of the six people have been prosecuted previously for committing the same offence and one was found to be using a stolen badge.
The guilty parties were in breach of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Those prosecuted misused a disabled persons parking badge by displaying it in their own vehicles. In doing so, the guilty parties’ vehicles were parked in a space that was specifically allocated to someone with a disability or to avoid parking charges.
A council spokesperson, said: “Blue badges are issued to residents with a disability, so they are able to park close to services they need to use.
“Unfortunately, the system is open to abuse, especially by partners, relatives or friends of Blue Badge holders, who want to gain access to free and convenient parking.
“Those who misuse a blue badge may not think it will affect anyone. But, removing an accessible parking space for those who need it can seriously hinder their ability to live an independent life.”
Blue badge holders in Herefordshire have access to up to three hours free parking in council car parks as well as a number of nationwide on-street parking concessions. However, a blue badge can only be used by the named badge holder, or by a person who has dropped off or is collecting the badge holder from the place where the vehicle is parked.
Herefordshire Council said it takes blue badge abuse very seriously. Its civil enforcement officers carry out regular spot checks on vehicles and the council will continue to prosecute those who misuse them.
If you are aware of someone misusing a blue badge please report it to the council’s parking services section by calling 01432 260974 (option 1).
Disabled people including those with hidden disabilities and those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport can apply for a blue badge from the council’s website: herefordshire.gov.uk/parking-1/blue-badge-scheme.