Motorists risk £1,000 fine for misusing Blue Badge when parking

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More than 3,500 motorists across England were prosecuted for the misuse of Blue Badges between 2019 and 2021. It is a criminal offence for the driver or anyone else to misuse the badge and doing so could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge.

The Government website states that the badge and its concessions are for the driver’s use only, adding “you must use the Blue Badge properly”.

New research shows that 3,496 of the 3,559 Blue Badge prosecutions were issued to non-badge holders illegally using someone else’s Blue Badge.

London is home to the most drivers prosecuted for the misuse of Blue Badges across England, with 2,192 prosecutions.

The capital had nearly 2,000 more prosecutions than any other city in the research, with 2,140 out of 2,192 prosecutions from non-badge holders illegally using another’s Blue Badge.  

Birmingham and Leeds follow in second and third place, with 224 and 149 prosecutions respectively.

Motorists in Bristol, Bournemouth and Kingston upon Hull didn’t receive any prosecutions for Blue Badge misuse between 2019 and 2021

Anna McEntee, director at comparethemarket, urged drivers to use the Blue Badges properly, or they could face major consequences.

She said: “Drivers need to be aware of the rules around Blue Badges and think twice when it comes to illegally misusing one. 

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“Figures show that from 2019 to 2021 there were 3,496 prosecutions of non-badge holders illegally using another person’s Blue Badge. 

“Displaying a Blue Badge illegally is a criminal offence and could result in a fine of £1,000 and even risk confiscation of the badge entirely, in turn detrimentally impacting the person it is intended for.”

Based on a survey of 2,000 British motorists, the research revealed that 17-to-24-year-olds are most likely to illegally use a friend or family member’s Blue Badge (31 percent).

Shockingly, 13 percent have forged a stolen bridge, with 12 percent using a stolen Blue Badge.

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The Blue Badge should only be used when the holder is in the vehicle either as a driver or passenger, with the badge being clearly displayed from the outside of the car.

When parking on yellow lines or restricted parking, the blue badge clock should be visible from the outside of the car, along with the badge.

A police officer can request to see the badge at any time, so ensure it is always with you when driving and parking.

In July, the AA warned drivers that they may be subject to parking fines when abroad, with a handful of European countries not accepting the Blue Badges. 

Popular holiday destinations of France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece are among 11 European nations yet to decide if a UK-issued Blue Badge is to be recognised.

Other nations where a UK Blue Badge may not be accepted are; Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.

Consulates are unable to provide advice to drivers, despite the UK Government telling drivers to ask for them.

The motoring organisation suggests that the 11 countries will not accept the Blue Badges given there is no reciprocal arrangement.

Because of this, disabled drivers risk leaving themselves open to parking tickets, or their car being towed away if they used them in a disabled parking space.

The situation has been described as a “Brexit hangover”.

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