Blue badge per­mit warn­ing

Good Sa­mar­i­tan faces fines for us­ing dis­abled per­son's badge

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jack Troughton jtroughton@cb­news.es

A GOOD Sa­mar­i­tan faces the full force of the law af­ter giv­ing a frail pen­sioner a lift to a shop­ping cen­tre and park­ing in a dis­abled per­son’s bay us­ing the el­derly widow’s blue badge.

Un­known to the driver, the ex­piry date on the per­mit had been al­tered – pos­si­bly by some­one try­ing to help the pen­sioner beat bu­reau­cracy – and the mo­torist now faces a fraud charge.

She helped the pen­sioner back to the car and found a €100 spot fine at­tached to her wind­screen for un­law­fully us­ing the marked dis­abled park­ing area.

How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion got worse for the unnamed Calpe driver when she was in­formed she was be­ing pros­e­cuted for al­ter­ing an of­fi­cial govern­ment doc­u­ment and she faced a €5,000 fine or two years in prison.

At Calpe town hall, coun­cil­lor Ca­role Saun­ders is at­tempt­ing to help a mo­torist who in­no­cently only thought she was do­ing her good deed for the day and warned of the dan­gers of mis­us­ing the of­fi­cial per­mit.

She said the blue badge scheme in Spain of­fered the same ad­van­tages as the UK scheme – recog­nised across Europe – but it could take 18 months to ob­tain the per­mit.

Mrs Saun­ders said if a blue badge was mis­used; for ex­am­ple the per­son to whom it was is­sued was not in the car and it was be­ing em­ployed for the driver’s per­sonal ben­e­fit, a spot fine could fol­low.

“How­ever, if you have al­tered the in­for­ma­tion on the blue badge in any way, for ex­am­ple the ex­piry date or the name on the blue badge, that is con­sid­ered to be fraud – be­cause you are tam­per­ing with an of­fi­cial govern­ment doc­u­ment,” she said. “If con­victed, you can face a fine of up to €5,000 or face up to two years in prison.

“Un­for­tu­nately, a driver may un­wit­tingly be given an al­tered badge to take some­one some­where, not re­alise it has been tam­pered with...and find them­selves in court.”

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