Warning issued to Blue Badge cheats
Two people caught abusing Blue Badges to get round parking rules have been prosecuted.
Penalties totalling £990 have been handed out by magistrates in the past week after both people used a Blue Badge that belonged to a relative to park for free.
Blue Badges can only be used if the badge holder is present.
The prosecutions come as the council continues to crack down on people who illegitimately park in spaces intended only for disabled people.
Tina Birch, of Graveleythorpe Road, Whitkirk, pleaded guilty and was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs plus a £20 victim surcharge.
Wasim Rashid, of Bracken Hill, Moortown, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £400 costs as well as a £20 victim surcharge.
In both cases, civil enforcement officers witnessed the offenders parking in a pay and display space. Both were alone and were seen placing a Blue Badge on their dashboards before walking off and making no attempt to pay.
Upon questioning and investigation, officers discovered the badges Birch and Rashid had displayed had been genuinely issued to a family member. As it is an offence to use a Blue Badge unless the badge holder is present, and both failed to pay for parking, legal proceedings were started.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment, said:
“While it might be handy for you to use a badge issued to a relative or friend, ultimately you are inconveniencing others who have a genuine need and putting them at a disadvantage.
“If you are the driver for a Blue Badge holder then you can only use the badge if they are with you. If you attempt to flout these rules then you need to be prepared to face the consequences of a criminal record.
“We’ll continue to ensure Blue Badges are used properly and fairly and we won’t hesitate to take action against those who abuse the system.”
People could have their Blue Badges revoked or renewal refused if they or others persistently abuse them.
They also face a maximum £1,000 fine if prosecuted and found guilty of abusing the system.
The council has a number of other prosecutions pending for those caught mis-using Blue Badges.
See www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/blue-badge-parking.aspx and www.gov.uk/browse/driving/blue-badge-parking for more information.
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577