The government is to tighten the security of its ‘Blue Badge’ parking scheme for disabled drivers and passengers. From January 1st 2012, current blue badge holders will be able to apply for an electronically printed badge with a hologram, digital photo and serial number, making it much harder to forge.
Blue Badge fraud is estimated to cost the UK economy £46 million a year. The new badge is part of a wider crackdown on misuse of badges to ensure disabled parking spaces are available to those most in need.
Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said "motorists who pretend to be disabled to get some free parking are frankly disgraceful. They prevent real Blue Badge holders from using parking bays designed for those genuinely in need and they cheat the vast majority of road users who play fair when they park their cars. Our new Blue Badge will be as secure as a banknote and anyone thinking of faking it can forget it. We are also tightening up on enforcement and eligibility so there will be no way to scam the system."