Official statistics from the Department for Transport has shown a significant rise in disabled parking badge prosecutions. According to the data, local authorities in England instigated criminal proceedings against 985 people in 2014-15 in comparison to 535 the year before. The vast majority of cases related to the improper use of someone else's blue badge.
A disabled badge can only be used in a vehicle by the named badge holder, or by a person who has dropped off or is collecting the badge holder from the place where the vehicle is parked. The blue badge should not be given to friends or family to use or allow them to have the benefit of the concessions of the blue badge.
Where an enforcement officer has established reasonable grounds that a blue badge is invalid or being misused it may be retained by that officer. A badge is considered to be invalid if it is fake, has been cancelled or should have been returned to the issuing authority (i.e. because it has expired or is no longer needed). A badge is considered to be being misused if someone other than the badge holder is found to be using it without the badge holder being present on that journey. The badge remains the property of the issuing authority and may be confiscated if misused.
Illegally using someone else’s blue badge is a criminal offence contrary to section 117 of the Road Traffic Act 1984. Penalties include being fined up to £1,000 and confiscation of the blue badge.
For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact a member of our Motoring, Crime and Regulatory Team on 01279 755777.