Are you using your Blue Badge Properly? Councils are investigating and prosecuting more and more people caught using a Disabled (Blue) Parking Badge in the wrong way. Lucinda Dore Legal Services can provide expert legal help for any person who is being investigated or summonsed to appear before court for wrongfully using disabled parking badge. We often hear from clients who did not realise they were not using the badge properly – for example if given the badge to use by a disabled person who is unsure of the rules and regulations for using them so they have never had the rules explained to them. We hear from people who had good intentions to care for a disabled person only to find them under investigation, we also hear from people who had no idea that momentarily using a blue badge wrongfully leads to serious implications – the implications for using a blue badge incorrectly are far more severe than a parking ticket for example. Lucinda Dore Blue Badge solicitors believe that if people knew the law and implications of wrongfully using a disabled badge they wouldn’t find themselves at risk of a criminal conviction so we thought we would explain the law to help people from making mistakes. Wrongful Use of Disabled (Blue Badge) Law The Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) Regulations 2000 details the only circumstances in which a disabled badge can be displayed in a vehicle: -
- If the vehicle has been driven by the holder, or has been used to carry the holder, to the place where it is to be parked; or
- Is to be driven by the holder, or is to be used to carry the holder, from that place.
If you display a badge in contravention of the above regulations, you may be accused of two possible offences in law. Section 117 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is the least serious of the two offences. Section 117(1) stipulates that a person is guilty of an offence if they wrongfully: - Display a badge purporting to be valid under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and Was using the vehicle in circumstances where a disabled person’s concession would be available to a disabled person’s vehicle. It is a defence if the badge was issued correctly and displayed in accordance with the regulations referred to above. The penalty for a S117 conviction at court is a Financial Penalty. Section 115 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is the more serious of the two offences. Section 115 is committed if with intent to deceive, a person uses, lends, or allows to be used a disabled badge. It is more serious as the S117 offence as there is evidence of a deliberate attempt to deceive (e.g. pretending to be the badge holder or tampering with badge itself). For a Section 115 offence the prosecution need to prove that the disabled badge was used (displayed) and that you intended to deceive (i.e. that you intended to deceive a parking warden/the council to believe that you were entitled to park in the parking bay without paying). A Section 115 offence in serious cases can attract a custodial sentence although is usually sentenced by way of a Financial Penalty or a community order such as unpaid work in the community or an electronically monitored curfew. We have particular experience in these matters. Contact us for advice and assistance today via email – Lucinda@ldlegalservices.co.uk or 03332420691 we will always offer a free consultation over the phone about your case.