Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blue Badge Blunders! The upsidedown fine edition

I was alerted to this story of blue badge abuse by Bonetired. This is not the standard tale of blue badge abuse, that of perfectly fit, healthy and able drivers parking illegally in areas reserved for disabled parking, which is such a frequent occurrence I doubt there's a disabled person unable to offer examples of how this has prevented them being able to access the service or business they need. Whilst I'm on the subject I'd just like to point out this fantastic initiative by Manchester City Council who have both a dedicated team to tackle blue badge abuse, and a rogue's gallery listing names, addresses and punishments issues to those caught out committing blue badge abuse.

No, this is something a little bit special. Or so Bonetired thought when he spotted it in the Worcester News. Ron Padwick, a 76 yr old great grandfather had parked his car and displayed his blue badge before meeting a friend for a cup of tea. Much to his shock, when he returned to the car Ron found a fixed penalty notice for £35 or £70 if not paid within 2 weeks. A fine the Daily Mail have already inflated to £75. Ron's 'crime' was to have displayed his blue badge upside down!

Sadly, Ron's fine is not unusual. There are instructions about how to correctly display a blue badge included with the information pack given on issue, but in practice many disabled people display their badges upside down or back to front. Poor manual dexterity, pain, or fatigue can all contribute to such simple, frequent mistakes and the majority of traffic wardens are sympathetic to such mistakes. Like any situation there are notable exceptions and Ron joins other disabled people to fall foul of this rule.

3 comments:

Mary said...

As you know, I have a blue badge but am not a driver. When my friends give me lifts places and I need them to use blue badge parking privileges for my benefit, I place my blue badge on their dashboard.

So far I cannot think of a single one who, the first time I used it while with them, didn't reach forward and flip it over so the the photograph side was displayed.

The conversation then goes:
"So the photo doesn't have to be visible?"
"Nope, photo-side down every time."
"But surely the idea is that they can see if the person on the photo is the one who comes back to the car?"
"Nope."
"So why is there a photo on it at all?"
"Beats me."

LceeL said...

The ill here is called "Bureaucracy".

Anonymous said...

This story is not quite correct. Due unfortunately to the high level of blue badge fraud, the parking attendant must be able to read the key details, particularly the expiry date, on the badge. The badge and terms and conditions say clearly that the badge must be placed with the key details face up but in this case they were placed face down on the dashboard. The parking attendent was only doing his job after all.