Driving home the message

Crackdown on blue badge cheats
Crackdown on blue badge cheats

A ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on the misuse of disabled persons’ blue parking badges was launched across East Dunbartonshire last week.

The Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Act 2014 came into force on Monday, March 30, and gives local authorities strengthened enforcement powers to cancel Blue Badges which have been reported lost or stolen and confiscate badges that are being misused.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s community wardens now have the power to inspect a badge to confirm that it is being used by the designated person.

In addition, the law allows non-uniformed officers to examine and retain badges which are being misused or fraudulently used - including those that have been forged, tampered with, damaged or obtained fraudulently.

The badge may also be confiscated if it has been reported lost or stolen.

Councillor Manjinder Shergill, vice convener of the council’s Social Work Committee, said: “The Blue Badge scheme provides an essential service for disabled people by allowing access to parking bays which are normally closer to work, shops and other community services.

“This parking access can make a huge difference to people with mobility problems and how they live their lives.

“We want to remind badge holders of the rules of the scheme as well as educate the wider general public as to the purpose of the Blue Badge and the impact on disabled people if badges are misused.

“These additional powers to confiscate badges and cancel lost or stolen badges will hopefully make people think twice before misusing them

“People should be in no doubt that a zero tolerance approach will be adopted and any misuse of a Blue Badge is likely to lead to confiscation and the risk of prosecution.

“Misusing a Blue Badge is illegal and socially unacceptable, and targeting those who use someone else’s badge for their own gain will send out a strong message and free up parking spaces for genuine badge holders.”

For more information on Blue Badges, how to apply for one, and the rules and regulations regarding their correct use, visit www.bluebadgescotland.org