£1,000 fine for disabled badge misuse

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Drivers in Scotland are being urged to think twice about misusing blue badges as the Scottish Government announces a clampdown campaign on abuse of the system.

From March 30, local authorities will have the power to confiscate badges and cancel lost or stolen badges. Thoughtless drivers who are caught misusing a badge will also face penalty fines of up to £1,000.

The blue badge scheme is an essential service for disabled people allowing access to parking bays which are normally closer to work, shops and other community services. Normal everyday tasks that most of us take for granted, such as attending a doctor’s appointment or even going to work can become impossible due to lack of access.

Research conducted by Transport Scotland in 2012 showed that 76 percent of blue badge holders would go out less often if they were without their badge. Many also felt they wouldn’t be able to go out at all.

The campaign will also raise awareness of the regulations surrounding the blue badge scheme for other road users, namely reminding them that the designation is for the blue badge holder, as a driver or passenger of the vehicle only, and any other practice is committing an offence.

The Scottish Government hopes that by providing these additional powers people will think twice before misusing them, allowing disabled badge holders to access services in the community and lead independent lives.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “Blue badge misuse is socially unacceptable as it prevents legitimate badge holders from across Scotland accessing the on-street parking concessions to which they are entitled.”

For more information on the rules and regulations around their use, please visit www.bluebadgescotland.org