How many times have you spotted a disabled or parent and child parking spot being used by someone who doesn’t actually need it? A lot more than you’d like, probably.
However, it seems that Brits have had enough after research revealed than almost a third would challenge someone using a disabled parking space when they shouldn’t be. Appearances can be deceiving though, so from 2019, people without a physical impairment will be able to apply for a blue badge, allowing those with less obvious illnesses, such as autism or mental health conditions, to use the spaces.
It’s part of an effort by the government to help people with non-physical disabilities. Sue Bott CBE, deputy chief executive at Disability Rights UK – an organisation fighting for equality for disabled people – is all for the change to the blue badge system. “It is helpful to see acknowledged that it is not just physical impairments that can make mobility difficult but also some mental health issues as well,” she said. “We supported the government’s proposals at consultation stage and are delighted that this long overdue change has been made.”
In light of these changes, should people be wary about challenging suspected abusers of disabled parking spots? Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, thinks so. “It is admirable that almost a third of Brits would confront someone misusing a disabled parking spot,” he commented. “But, given the changes to the system in 2019, it might be prudent for those people to show some restraint and not jump to a hasty conclusion if they suspect someone is parking in a disabled spot dishonestly just because they cannot see any outward signs of a disability.”
Many Brits also back harsh punishments for disabled parking space misusers, with five per cent even calling for a temporary driving ban of at least three months. One in ten wanted to up the maximum fine up to £1,500 for those not displaying a blue badge when parking in a blue badge bay.
How do you feel about motorists who abuse blue bays? Let us know down in the comments.