Hefty fine for blue badge misuse
A Network Rail employee caught misusing his disabled mothers blue badge in his work vehicle has been ordered to pay nearly £1,000 following an investigation by Camden Council.
Mark McLoughlin used the blue badge to park a van in Holmes Road.
Civil enforcement officers had concerns about the badge being displayed on a Network Rail vehicle.
Enquiries by the parking fraud team discovered that the badge was registered to a 78 year old woman living in another area of Camden.
A prosecution was brought under s.117 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 and was heard at Highbury Corner Magistrates on 2 May 2012.
In summary, Magistrates found Mr McLoughlin guilty on two counts. Firstly that the badge holder was not at his house address as claimed and secondly that the van was parked for 2 hours and that by his own account his sole intention was not to use the badge for his mother but also for his own benefit.
Mr McLoughlin was fined £200, plus £750 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, making a total of £965.
Councillor Phil Jones, Cabinet member for sustainability and parking, Camden Council, said:
“I would like to praise the awareness of our civil enforcement officers in this case.
“This misuse meant that parking space on a residential street, for the benefit of our residents was being blocked. Had the van been parked in a disabled bay, then there was a real risk that a disabled person would not be able to park their vehicle, causing undue stress and discomfort.”
“The misuse of blue badges is far from harmless and those who choose to abuse the system will be caught and punished. This prosecution sends out the clear message that if you do abuse the system in Camden you will be found out, fined or potentially find yourself in court.”
Notes for editors
1, The amount of blue badge misuse being detected in Camden has increased significantly.
2, Misuse takes a number of forms and is not limited to fake badges, e.g. it could be fake/stolen/altered/ used by someone who isn't the badge holder.
3, Camden Council has a dedicated fraud team to tackle the problem of blue badge fraud.
4, In the 2011/12 financial year, Camden Council secured 46 convictions for various forms of blue badge misuse.
5, In 2011-12, the blue badge enforcement team confiscated 356 blue badges from vehicles in Camden. This figure represents a 28% increase on the number from the previous year.
Page last updated Jun 20, 2012 8:40 AM