Hundreds of blue badge cheats fined

More than 10 people every week are fined in Derry for wrongly parking in spaces designated for disabled drivers, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

Leading disability rights lobby group Disability Action said anyone parking in a space designated solely for blue-badge holders are “ robbing disabled people of their independence.”

Figures given to the ‘Journal’ by the Department of Regional Development show that in 2010 a total of 543 penalty charge notices were issued in the city.

Disability Action’s access manager Orla McCann says people should carefully consider the implications of parking in a blue badge only bay.

“Disability Action welcomes and encourages the enforcement of Blue Badge parking bays. Accessible parking areas are provided for blue badge holders only and we would remind disabled people that they too should only park in these bays if they are displaying their Blue Badge.

“These bays are designed to be wider and longer and conveniently located to provide independence to disabled people, people who misuse these bays are robbing disabled people of their independence.”

Last year the ‘Journal’ revealed a total of 1,395 penalty charge notices were issued in the city between November 2006 and October 2009