What is meant by Misuse of a Blue Badge?
Section 117(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 relates to the wrongful use of a disabled person’s badge (“blue badge”).
It is an offence under this Act to park a motor vehicle with a badge displayed purporting to be valid when the person is using the vehicle where a disabled person’s concession would be available to a disabled person’s vehicle.
In layman’s terms, it’s an offence to misuse a disabled person’s badge for parking, whether that be by parking for free in pay and display areas or parking in a disabled parking bay without the badge holder being present.
Misuse of a Blue Badge could result in a fine up to £1,000 and confiscation of the badge.
It is also possible for the holder of the badge to be investigated for allowing their blue badge to be misused.
Additionally, if a badge has been tampered with in any way, or used beyond its expiration date, this can lead to a prosecution under s1 Fraud Act 2006. A custodial sentence is possible for this type of offence.
What are the consequences of misusing a blue badge?
A conviction for any of the blue badge offences can result in criminal proceedings, a financial penalty, the badge being confiscated from the owner, and even a custodial sentence.
Furthermore, blue badge offences are dishonesty offences and as such may affect your profession. For example, solicitors have been permanently struck off as a result of this offence, and many highly-regulated industries will not accommodate this type of conviction on an employee’s record.
For this reason, it is crucial that you defend a false blue badge case.
Forrest Williams are experts in this field and can help.
How seriously are blue badge offences dealt with?
Local councils are taking a zero-tolerance approach in order to protect the Blue Badge Scheme.
Therefore, if you are suspected of misusing a blue badge it is likely the first step would be to attend an interview under caution, after which you could be criminally prosecuted.
In all cases, we offer free initial advice.
If you are being investigated for, or charged with, misuse of blue badge, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.