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Ticket warning for blue badge holders

BLUE badge holders in Solihull will benefit from a new warning system approved by a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

BLUE badge holders in Solihull will benefit from a new warning system approved by a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Drivers caught displaying badges incorrectly will be given up to two warnings, instead of receiving a penalty charge notice after the first offence.

The decision followed complaints from users, some of whom contacted the Solihull News, who felt they had been harshly penalised for not displaying badges correctly.

The council has been responsible for the enforcement of the scheme in the borough since October 2007 and were receiving up to 60 appeals a day from disgruntled disabled drivers.

Coun Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport, highways and infrastructure said: "We know there are more than 11,000 blue badge holders in the borough, and we have a responsibility to those people to ensure that disabled spaces are used by those who genuinely need them."

Solihull Council is one of the first authorities in the country to practise a warning policy and hope the scheme will help drivers who have difficulty understanding guidelines.

The national system had been prone to fraudsters, who photocopied badges, keep those belonging to dead relatives or sold them on the black market.

"We need to catch those people and penalise them," added Coun Richards.

" However, we also know that some legitimate badge holders are not clear about how their badge should be used, and so we are introducing this policy to help them understand and ensure they get it right on future occasions."

A warning notice can be issued when:

* The badge is displayed incorrectly where the officer cannot establish its validity, the expiry date and/or there is no time clock

* Where the badge is out of date beyond the statutory two week allowance for expired badge

The council is advising drivers to ensure the details on the badge are legible - if there is fading return the badge for re-issue.

And if parking in a disabled bay which has a restricted time limit, remember to use the special parking disc and set the time to indicate when the driver arrived.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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