Criminal Offence To Abuse Parking Spaces For Disabled People

An interesting piece from BBC via Wheelie Catholic. Too bad this is in Birmingham and not in Malaysia.

Illegal blue badges cost £500,000
Disabled parking space
Anyone caught parking illegally could face fines of up to £1,000

Drivers parking illegally in spaces for disabled motorists are costing Birmingham £500,000 in lost parking fees each year, council chiefs said.

The city council has vowed to take tough action against those caught, threatening fines of up to £1,000.

Hundreds of people had already been caught, council leaders told an investigation by BBC’s Inside Out in the West Midlands.

A blue badge can only be displayed if the permit holder is using the vehicle.

Criminal record

Transport chiefs said the most common misuse was people using badges awarded to their relatives, without the relatives being in the car.

However, people had also been caught using fraudulent badges.

Currently, wardens only have the powers to tow away the offending vehicles and to issue a fine of £140.

However, the city council said it would now start using private prosecutions to bring people to court, which would allow them to impose higher fines and leave the drivers with a criminal record.

Extra patrols will also be out on the streets catching those flouting the law.

Clamped for parking at accessible parking without the wheelchair logo

In Malaysia, offenders mostly get away with less than a slap on the wrist. Ikano Power Center is one of the few shopping complexes that enforces clamping of vehicles that do not display the wheelchair logo parking in spaces allocated to disabled people. However, no authority is responsible for issuing official parking stickers to disabled people that is recognized throughout Malaysia. Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya is issuing similar stickers but only to residents of the municipality for parking spaces managed by the council which I have spoken out against. Apart from that, anyone can print the logo and display it on their car dashboard and claim the right to park in such spaces.

The public must understand that such parking spaces are there for a reason. They are extra wide to allow for sufficient space to place a wheelchair beside the vehicle for the disabled person to get in and out. I have come across drivers who conveniently parked their cars in the accessible parking spaces at Mid Valley Megamall and Tesco Ipoh when they were not even walking with a limp. By occupying these spaces, non-disabled drivers are depriving disabled drivers a place to park their vehicles. We are unable to use regular-sized parking spaces. If our cars are sandwiched between two vehicles in such parking spaces, we will not be able to get out or into the cars because the car door cannot be fully opened due to the close proximity of the vehicles.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Criminal Offence To Abuse Parking Spaces For Disabled People”

  1. Oh my God! 😮 That is terrible. How could the non-disabled drivers do that? Don’t they know that it might happen to them someday? I was in Auckland a couple of years ago. The people there don’t park at the disabled parkings at all. Even if they want to, they need to show proof that they’re disabled. No, not “physical” proofs.

    I suppose the locals just want convienience. They don’t want to go round and round searching for parking. Oh well, I suppose the higher authorities don’t care because their relatives ain’t disabled. Sorry if I sound sarcastic… I just can’t help but vent my anger at the situation. Sighs.

    Some of us prefer to go for convenience over consideration. It all boils down to education, civic-mindedness, courtesy and common sense which is sorely lacking nowadays. Although I believe the same do happen in other countries, it is not as rampant. Thank you for sharing.

  2. FYI, it is also an offence to park in a disabled lot in the little red dot.

    Here in the big banana above the little red dot, I am not sure if it is legislated as public parking is controlled by the respective municipal councils. Even if there is a law, enforcement is lacking or non-existent and people get away with it most of the time.

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