It is a despicable thing to claim you are disabled by using a stolen or borrowed blue badge. People, it seems, will always want a thing they are not supposed to have. Maybe it is human nature to just want “things”, I know I want “things” all the time. I would not, however, even consider an item designed to make life a little easier for someone with a disabilty.
A recent BBC News report highlighted the facts about disabled badges and crime. The report explains the surprising facts about blue badges being a valuable commodity on the black market changing hands for as much as £1600 each.
Policing the use of stolen blue disabled badges is apparently not enforced very effectively. It may not help that the photo id is not visible when the badges are displayed in a vehicle. Surely this alone would help reduce casual friends and family abusing the badge scheme.
I have an idea that may well end fraudulent use of the blue badges, or at least make it more difficult for them to be abused.
Each new blue badge issued should contain a small RFID chip. The chip would contain all relevant details for the blue badge holder including registration number of the vehicle it should be displayed in, and a contact email or phone number. The chip could not include too much personal information because criminals will be able to buy the scanners if they want them and personal details could lead to identity theft.
At least then, a traffic warden or police officer using a handheld scanner could check the details of the blue badge against the vehicle it is displayed in at the time. This can be done without entry to the vehicle. If details do not match then the police can make more enquiries or forward details to the relevant authority.
It is a very basic idea but in principle it should work shouldn’t it. I don’t think the technology is going to be that expensive to implement and may well stop people evading congestion charges of up to £5000 a year.