Special Needs Parenting: Blue Badges Make Me See Red

Sarah Kay by Sarah Kay Additional Needs

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay

An honest (and hopefully positive!) chat through the rollercoaster journey we have found ourselves on; hopefully to raise awareness of HIE and supp...

Since applying for our own Blue Badge last year, (our little girl is tube fed, needs suction, used to need oxygen, and is in a wheelchair) I seem to have developed this new sense at spotting cars parked in disabled bays without the appropriate badge.

I can do it from some distance now, and it makes me mad.

I’m usually a pretty calm person, really I am, but I found myself the other day saying rather loudly, and sarcastically, “I think you forgot to put your blue badge out”, as someone jumped from their car and breezed past me as I struggled with all our bulky equipment, putting a bit of a sweat on.

They looked at me like I was speaking a different language, and carried on their way.

Of course as soon as the words had left my mouth, I panicked in case they said something back! I don’t do confrontation, instead I keep things to myself then get so annoyed when I’m home for not having the bottle to speak up.

The frustration comes from the fact that people who park without badges just don’t realise the impact it has on others.

I don’t need to be near the shop/pharmacy/park or wherever it may be, but I do need a wider bay so that I can get the doors open and everything (including my little girl!) out.

If I see an end space, I’ll use that instead of taking up a disabled bay, and I know lots of friends who use the same logic.

The, “I’m only nipping in…”, the, “there are plenty of other spaces…” and the, “My mum is at home and she’s disabled…”, just doesn’t excuse non-compliant parking.

I’m at the stage where I am seriously considering printing some leaflets to pop under the windscreen wipers of offending vehicles.

It would be a polite notice (just in case someone had genuinely forgotten to put their badge on display, it’s so easy to do when you’re head is full of what’s on your to-do list), but hopefully make people think about doing it again.

It makes me laugh though – me, trying to change the world, one leaflet at a time!

I also think it would be helpful if places such as supermarkets (some of who are now fining offenders who break the rules in terms of disabled and parent and child parking) had some disabled bays away from the store.

Of course for some, parking needs to be as close to the store as possible; for people like me, who just need the space rather than proximity, maybe bays further away would deter the lazy mis-users, and free up some of the other bays for genuine blue-badgers (which, by the way, also makes me laugh as it conjures up an image of a smurf-like animal!).

So, my plea to all is simple – be a courteous parker, don’t make me go out there with a leaflet!

Not much to ask, really, is it?


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