A YourParkingSpace.co.uk survey has revealed the widespread abuse of accessible parking bays in the UK. In fact, more than 2,5 million Brits are flouting the use of those spots. Shame on the Brits!
Among the excuses given by motorists were that they were in a rush, they thought no-one would notice, they didn’t care and even that they felt there should be no special parking for people with disabilities and wheelchair users.
However, the most common reason was that they simply did not realise that they were using an accessible parking spot, indicating that more prominent signage might be required.
There could be even more miscreants than that figure, noted the survey, with results showing that nearly two-thirds of the respondents had seen someone else doing it.
It’s not all disappointing news, though – more than a quarter of brave Brits would confront an accessible parking space offender.
Harrison Woods, managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk, says: “It is shocking to think that there is a significant number of Brits who believe there’s nothing wrong in parking in an accessible parking spot when they have no right to do so.
“Not only can this lead to a fine but it is also very inconsiderate towards drivers with disabilities, who might be forced to park somewhere else if the space is wrongly taken.”
Alongside harsher financial penalties, including increasing the maximum fine to £5 000 (about R84 608) for misusers of on-street accessible parking spaces, almost a quarter of the respondents wanted a further punishment of three penalty points on a driving licence, while more than one in 10 backed the idea of community service.
There was also strong support for the suggestion that offenders be sent on a disability awareness course, with backing from almost a third of the respondents, while a temporary driving ban of up to three months was welcomed by just under five percent of respondents.
“Another excuse given by offenders was that the accessible parking spot was the only space available. Those drivers who feel that this is a justifiable reason should plan ahead so they aren’t parking where they are not allowed,” adds Woods.
Meanwhile, Philip Connolly, policy manager of Disability Rights UK, comments: “One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as human beings is: ‘What is it like to be someone else?’ For example, what does it mean to be a blue badge holder* in any town centre? My guess is that just to ask that question is to realise that you don’t want to park in an accessible parking space if you are not disabled yourself.”
Founded in 2013, YourParkingSpace.co.uk is an online parking marketplace that sells parking space in driveways, private off-street parking spaces, lock-up garages and spaces run by commercial car park operators and businesses.
* The Blue Badge scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park near their destination.