Hull City Council has sent a warning to people who abuse disabled parking concessions.
The Council announced a crackdown on abuse of the Blue Badge scheme earlier in the year, responding to concerns that disabled people were being denied access to designated areas by people who were not entitled to use the scheme.
Council investigators have now followed up a series of allegations from members of the public, with further cases referred in from Civil Enforcement Officers (parking attendants). Some of the allegations have been disproven, which provides assurance that abuse of the scheme is not as widespread as the public may perceive it to be. However, a minority of cases are being considered for prosecution under relevant legislation and the first of these cases was heard at HullMagistrates Court today (25 October).
Sarah Crosskey, 27, of Wivenhoe, Essex, attended the court and pleaded guilty to three offences under section 117 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Her solicitor accepted on her behalf that she had misused the blue badge on 18th April, 16th May and 20th July, 2013. Enforcement officers had seen her car parked in Hull, displaying a badge which she was not entitled to use on each of those occasions.
The chair of the bench said that this was a serious abuse of privilege and potentially gave the blue badge system a bad name.
Miss Crosskey was given credit for her guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity and fined £100 for the first offence with no separate penalty on the remaining matters. A victim surcharge of £20 was also imposed and prosecution costs of £350 were awarded.
Councillor Martin Mancey said:
“The Blue Badge system provides an essential facility to vulnerable people who require access to disabled parking facilities. But the system can work only if it is respected. The Council will therefore take action against the minority of drivers who abuse it – as in this case – to protect the interest of genuine users and the integrity of the system.”