Friday, 28 August 2009

Disabled badges

Have you ever seen abuse of the disabled parking badge? If you are struggling to think of an example then just watch a disabled parking space for a few minutes. You will probably see some very fit looking individuals who march away from their car. Another method may be to watch people park their cars on double yellow lines and then walk round the park with their dog. It may be that these people are disabled but have temporarily improved. It may be that these people are not disabled.

This week in the local newspaper, the Morecambe Visitor, the headline on the front page is about a man who has months to live and has been given a parking ticket for displaying his badge upside down. The headline gives away the mood of the article - "How could they do this?" Well the answer is fairly simple, because they have left their badge upside down. My first thoughts were that it is petty bureaucracy. Why can't they produce a badge so it doesn't matter which way up you place it? I can only think that they make it this way so that fines can be given out to people who place it the wrong way up.

However the system is such that fines are given out for upside down badges. So on what grounds can appeals be justified. Is receiving a serious diagnosis good grounds for appeal? I presume that it is not petty bureaucracy and there is a valid reason to fine people like this. In which case it would be interesting to know where they draw the appeals line. Terminal cancer - upside down is fine. PMT, that's fine too.

How many times have we seen this kind of headline? Until the badges are produced so that either side is fine, I can't help thinking that the authorities want to make money out of disabled people, and I can't help thinking that non-disabled people want to abuse the system.

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