More than 2.5 million drivers have wrongfully parked in a disabled space, according to a study by yourparkingspace.co.uk.
Findings from the new survey reveals widespread misuse of disabled parking spots.
Among the excuses given by motorists for parking in a disabled space were that they were in a rush, they thought no-one would notice, they didn’t care and even that they felt there should be no special parking for Blue Badge holders.
The most common reason was that they did not realise it was a disabled parking spot, indicating that more prominent signage might be required at many places.
According to the survey, there could be even more misusing disabled spaces than those admitting to it, as results also show that nearly two-thirds of people have seen someone else doing it.
Harrison Woods, managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk which conducted the survey, said: “It is shocking to think that there is a significant number of Brits who believe there’s nothing wrong in parking in a disabled parking spot when they have no right to.
“Not only can this lead to a fine but it is also very inconsiderate to disabled drivers who might be forced to park somewhere else if the space is wrongly taken.”
As well as harsher financial penalties, including increasing the maximum fine to £5,000 to misusers of on-street disabled parking spaces, almost a quarter of those surveyed wanted a further punishment of three penalty points on a driving licence, while more than 1 in 10 backed the idea of community service.
A quarter of respondents would also confront someone misusing a disabled parking space.
Philip Connolly, policy manager of Disability Rights UK, added: “One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as human beings is what is it like to be someone else. For example, what is it like to be a blue badge holder in any town centre. My guess is that just to ask the question is to know that you don’t want to park in a disabled parking space if you are not disabled yourself.”