City council warns on abuse of blue badges in Derby
Parking wardens are to clamp down on motorists in Derby who misuse parking facilities for the disabled.
The city council said abuse of the Blue Badge scheme was an increasing problem which was denying genuine badge-holders parking privileges.
Recent examples of misuse include a motorist using a badge belonging to a family member who had died.
It is estimated there are more than 14,600 badges in circulation in the city.
Other abuses of the scheme include a motorist regularly using his wife's badge when she was not present and drivers setting their arrival time clocks in advance to gain extra parking time.
Parking wardens and police officers can spot-check a blue badge at any time and compare the badge's photo with the driver. Using someone else's badge could lead to a fine of £1,000.
Ann Webster, of Derby City Council, said: "It is widespread.
"But sometimes, this is down to people just not reading the rules about using their blue badge.
"Other times, it is about relatives or friends borrowing the badge for their own use, without realising how serious this is."
The city council said it wanted to raise awareness of the conditions of having a blue badge.
And it warned that abuse of the scheme can have severe consequences, including the withdrawal of the badge from offenders.
Janet Warner, from the Disabled Peoples Diversity Forum, said: "The blue badge belongs to the person, not the car.
"It's important we get people using their blue badges correctly."
The council said it was currently investigating 20 cases of possible abuse and expects many more.