During a week-long blitz on Blue Badge Fraud by the Council's Community Safety Team, 17 drivers have been caught misusing Badges or bays and have been penalised.
Last week, 47 Blue Badges were inspected across the area resulting in four being confiscated for fraudulent use and a further 13 drivers being issued with a £60 Penalty Charge Notice for misuse of a disabled bay.
The blitz will continue over coming weeks so a warning has been issued to drivers that anyone caught misusing a Blue Badge will have it confiscated. This type of fraud can carry a hefty fine and could leave you with a criminal record.
Disabled people's parking badges - known as 'Blue Badges' - are a lifeline to those who need them but are all too commonly misused, to the frustration of others.
Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of the Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, explained, "There are more disabled bays in East Dunbartonshire now than ever before, making it easier for people with a mobility issue to access shops, town centres and vital services. However, there are unscrupulous drivers who, to the detriment of legitimate badge holders, do misuse the Blue Badge.
"Where discovered, fraud of this nature is always harshly dealt with, but in the run up to the busy festive season we will be redoubling our efforts across East Dunbartonshire and will take a zero tolerance approach."
It is a criminal offence to misuse a Blue Badge and doing so could result in the card being cancelled, a £1,000 fine and a criminal record.
The Community Safety Team will seize Blue Badges and report the driver if they see:
- Misuse of badges (eg. when the person to whom the badge has been issued is not present)
- Use of expired badges
- Use of fraudulent badges
Local people are being encouraged to help the Council with its campaign. If you know an able-bodied person who parks in a disabled bay or space using a badge that isn't theirs the Council wants to hear from you. If a badge has expired and has fallen into the wrong hands, or if it is a fraudulent copy, you can report it. Please call 0300 123 4510 with any information.
Blue Badge holders are reminded that they can park free in all Council car parks, even where charges are in place. Parking is free regardless of whether you are in a disabled bay or not, as long as your Blue Badge is prominently displayed and you are parked correctly within a marked bay.
Charges are in place for a number of town centre car parks (Mon-Sat from 9am-5.30pm). For more information, visit www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/parking