Public want disabled bay abusers ‘outed’

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Public want disabled bay abusers named and shamed in a bid to stop them misusing the dedicated spaces

The majority of drivers want to see people who misuse disabled and family parking bays to be publically named and shamed.

Others say banning anti-social parkers from shops would be another way of preventing them for blocking spaces for drivers with special needs, the car leasing company Flexed.co.uk, has found.

However, there may be some reluctance on the part of store operators and local authorities due to potential bad publicity if somebody is wrongly accused.

Flexed asked more than 800 drivers what they think would be a fitting way to deal with restricted bay offenders.

  • 92% said they should be named-and-shamed in public
  • 83% said they should be fined
  • 65% said they should be banned from the shops involved
  • 54% said the “punishment” should be the same irrespective of whether it was on public or private land

Linda, 52, said she has a blue badge due to mobility problems.

“It drives me up the wall to see somebody parked in the disabled bays in town just so they can nip over to the cash machine. Where’s a traffic warden when you need one?”

Another disabled driver, 29-year-old Brian, told Flexed: “I’ve taken pictures of cars parked illegally in disabled spaces, but I’m told they’re not admissible as evidence. Let’s name names and stop these idiots.”

However, it seems not everyone would agree with naming and shaming. One driver who Flexed.co.uk saw parked in a mother-and-child space at a big-name supermarket said: “The car park’s rammed all except for these baby parking spaces – why should these lazy people get special treatment?”

Getting it right

While there’s clearly some appetite for shaming drivers who flout parking rules, there are practical difficulties in making it a reality.

Mark Hall, a Flexed spokesman, said it’s essential that companies make sure they’ve got the right person.

“Both councils and supermarkets will be reluctant to paste faces or number plates up in public because they don’t want bad publicity if somebody is accused by mistake. Some people don’t have obvious disabilities, and that is bound to lead to problems,” he said.

This is something 60-year-old Jenny is all too familiar with.

“I’ve got respiratory problems which mean I can’t walk more than 50 yards without getting out of breath,” she said.

“So I can make it from my car to the mobility scooters, but that’s just far enough for me to get an ear-bashing from some self-appointed parking warden who thinks I’m faking it.

“I’m registered disabled, but I just don’t look it. It’s very distressing, but I won’t shop online, otherwise I’d be housebound. Do you want me to chop a leg off or something so I look the part?”

However, Mr Hall thinks it should be a different story in town centres, where traffic wardens and PCSOs could be on the lookout for special parking bay offenders.

“With the backing of the law and local traffic enforcement, there ought to be zero tolerance for able-bodied people using disabled bays, even if it’s just for a few seconds to go to a cash machine or drop somebody off,” he said.

“Once the fine is paid, why not put snapshots of the offending number plates in the local press? I’m sure it would be a popular feature.”

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