Disabled Parking Permit - Also known as a handicapped permit, disabled placard, disabled badge and "Blue Badge" in the European Union, is displayed upon parking a vehicle carrying a person whose mobility would be otherwise significantly impaired by one or more of age, illness, disability or infirmity. The permit allows exemption from street-parking charges in some places and is used to park within dedicated disabled parking spaces reserved for people who have satisfied requirements to receive the placard.
Shoppers are being asked to consider others in the festive shopping rush this Christmas.
National disabled motorist charity Disabled Motoring UK are appealing to shoppers to not be selfish when they park their cars in retail areas and ensure that disabled parking provisions are not compromised.
The issue of disabled parking bay abuse is one which affects disabled motorists and their passengers throughout the year, but the problem is particularly apparent in the run-up to Christmas. Increased visitor numbers to retail centers and heightened stress levels creates the perfect condition for rushed parking jobs, which leads in turn to more incidents of parking abuse. In addition to this, poor weather condition can lead more people to take to their cars, further exacerbating parking problems.
Popular television show Top Gear has recently come under fire for parking abuse after presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May parked in disabled bays to discuss the merits of electric cars, while soaps including Coronation Street have also been pulled up for characters parking in disabled bays.
Helen Dolphin, Director of Campaigns and Policy at Disabled Motoring UK said "The festive period is a very busy one for lots of people. We are asking shoppers to remember that many disabled people rely on a car to get around. Public transport is not always accessible and disabled people may not be able to get to the bus stop or station in order to access it. But in order to be able to work, shop and socialize using their vehicle, disabled people rely on being able to park close to their destination. Often people don't set out to cause a problem for others and don't realize the impact that their actions can have. We want to show what the impact is and make people aware that there is no excuse for parking abuse."
Disabled Motoring UK is a campaigning charity for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders.
We lobby government and businesses to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services that they need. Disabled Motoring UK is not just an organization for disabled motorists; we also campaign for and support scooter and wheelchair users, families and carers.
Our continuing campaigns include: the abuse of disabled parking bays, the reform of the Blue Badge scheme, accessibility of city centers, and the lack of parking at healthcare facilities. Disabled Motoring UK will continue to co-ordinate the successful Baywatch campaign, which surveys the abuse of disabled parking space in supermarkets across the UK and encourages retailers to improve their provision and enforcement of Blue Badge bays.
Disabled Motoring UK were formerly known as "Mobilise" and renamed in April 2011. For more information on Blue Badge Fraud Investigation, please go to www.bbfi.co.uk