Recently I had the misfortune to witness a mother and baby, parked in one of the few disabled bays at my GP surgery, without any blue badge, or care that I, in my wheelchair, and Jack were also getting out of the car in the bay next to her. This is something I have experienced a lot, particularly since having a disabled bay put outside our front door, and I always enjoy making sure they’re very much aware of how selfish this is. Now, when posting on social media about my disgust at the self entitlement that leads people to do this, the majority were also outraged but some defended the actions of the woman, excusing her because she was probably tired or flustered, and the baby may have been terribly sick (I’d like to point out that if she’s too tired to notice the yellow lines around the bay and the signpost in front of her windscreen informing her it was a blue badge bay, she shouldn’t be driving), and I thought it was time to open a few eyes as to why this careless, and illegal, parking is inexcusable.
Not all blue badge users are in wheelchairs. Some of us can manage to walk shorter distances, which makes being able to use disabled parking, often much closer to the building, absolutely vital. Without being able to park close to the building, some people may then be unable to do whatever needs doing. They may be unable to independently walk into the doctors, shop or pharmacy, which is hugely important to many people.
Blue badge bays are bigger for a reason. We need those bays to make it possible to get out of the car and into the wheelchair, and then back into the car later. Transferring from a vehicle to a wheelchair without the extra space is impossible, particularly if you need to do this alone. Some vehicles allow for people to travel in their wheelchairs and require ramps for them to get in or out, these ramps usually take up most of the yellow box that surrounds blue badge bays, and without being able to have that space, people can end up trapped in their vehicle, waiting for a bay that’s large enough to allow for their ramp and for wheelchair manoeuvring.
It’s just really damn rude. I need this bay. I can’t safely get in and out of the car and my chair without it. Life is already quite difficult when disabled, you taking up these spaces, and there aren’t exactly many of them in most places, makes life just that little bit more difficult. And yes, I know, you would have moved if someone had needed the space, or, you were only going to be five minutes, or it was raining. We have heard them all and to be honest, you’re just being so damn selfish and it’s reflected by each pathetic excuse you throw out at me.
So, I have got myself some lovely new A4 posters, some plastic wallets to stop the rain from ruining them, and I plan to go to town on any and all cars I see parked in disabled bays without a blue badge. Obviously informing parking officers is the best choice but in many places these don’t exist and so it comes to us to embarrass and shame the self entitled who make a difficult day, just that little bit more difficult.
What excuses have you heard for misuse of a blue badge bay? Do you see this more often than you think you should? I’d love to hear!