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.
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.
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.
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