New legislation to clamp down on Blue Badge misuse
Drivers and passengers who abuse the Blue Badge scheme could have their badges confiscated through new legislation coming into force at the end of March.
The scheme allows disabled people access to parking bays which are normally closer to work, shops and other community services.
However, the Scottish Government says that by providing additional powers to confiscate badges and cancel lost or stolen badges, people will think twice before misusing them.
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “Blue badge misuse is socially unacceptable as it prevents the 228,000 legitimate badge holders across Scotland from accessing the on-street parking concessions to which they are entitled.
"Granting extra powers for local authorities to tackle blue badge misuse and confiscate badges that are not valid or are being used illegally by a third party for their own benefit will allow disabled badge holders to access services in the community and lead independent lives.”
|Top excuses for Blue Badge misuse|
|1. I have just dropped badge holder off for shopping, doctors or dentist|
|2. I am waiting on the badge holder coming from the doctors or dentists|
|3. I am doing the badge holder’s shopping|
|4. I am collecting something for the badge holder / picking up their medication|
|5. I thought I could use the badge as I will be collecting the badge holder later|
Research conducted by Transport Scotland in 2012 showed that 76% 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.
Dennis Robertson MSP, who was responsible for taking the legislation forward, said: “We need this legislation because people think that third party misuse of a blue badge is okay; although it is not. We as a society should not tolerate that.
“When someone misuses a blue badge they do not just take a parking space they deny a parking space to someone with a disability. When that person is denied a parking space they have to return home and might not be able to do what they went into town for.”
“People need to understand that by using someone else’s blue badge they are not just taking a parking space they are taking a parking space from a disabled person who is entitled to it.”