Beginning October 15, there will be some significant changes to the UK?s Blue Badge Scheme. Similar to the Handicapped Parking Placard in the US, the Blue Badge is issued to Brits who require accessible parking spaces.
First and foremost, the Blue Badge will be redesigned to include a hologram and other design elements that will make it more difficult to duplicate, in order to prevent fraud. With the number of fake placards available in the US (just check e-bay or your local flee market), this is something that our own government should consider. Our placards are so simply designed that all you need is some white paint, blue plastic and a little time to come up with a convincing fake. And with more and more folks getting legitimate placards, the influx of these fakes severely limits the number of accessible parking spaces.
Other changes to the UK Blue Badge Scheme include extending the scheme to disabled children under two years old and to people who drive non-adapted cars yet cannot access parking meters. Seems logical to me, after all these folks need access too.
In any case, the US could stand to take a long hard look at their placard system. If the Brits can update theirs, we should at least review ours.