I just read an article on here about applying for a disabled parking permit in Alabama. Regular readers of my posts will be aware that I am from Great Britain so the information does not really apply to me. However, a comment about whether the right people get the permits caught my attention and got me thinking. Before I continue, I should explain that disabled parking permits in Britain and across the EU are known as Blue Badges. They used to be Orange (before my time) and there are various Borough specific ones in London (quite confusing) but the main one accepted by wardens across Europe is Blue.
Now, I know from first hand experience that not all disability and whether you need a Blue Badge is clear on the surface. Friedreich’s Ataxia is gradual so I’ve not always been a ‘Wheelchair Boy’. From the age of nine (when I was first diagnosed) up until about 14, I could walk. On first appearance, it looked as if a disabled permit was not needed and I used to feel the glares of old people who probably thought, “he looks fine”. Little did they know that my legs would often collapse without warning after a ridiculously short distance.
This probably sounds two faced but I had the same thought process as those old people who used to judge me last week when I went shopping. The 10 or so bays outside the supermarket were full so in my mind, I was questioning why a woman who had just pushed a large trolley around and had no problems walking/getting in the car needed a permit? She probably does have a medical condition but surely that doesn’t necessarily entitle her to a badge. My dad has a bad knee that gives way unexpectedly but he doesn’t deserve a permit in my opinion.
It sounds harsh but I just think that Blue Badges are dished out way too easily nowadays. I understand that getting old can bring on some mobility issues but with an ageing population thanks to scientific advancements, an increasing amount of these permits are in circulation. Disabled parking spaces were created so that those few who require special access could park near the shops. It’s no longer just a few. More and more badges are popping up on dashboards. The solution is either to give the permits to those who definitely need one only or to create more disabled bays.
While I’ve got your attention, can I just say thank you for reading, sharing, commenting and voting on my posts. I appreciate the support and enjoy contributing to the Rolling Without Limits community.