A man thinks he may have found what could be the worst DIY disabled parking badge ever after a recent visit to Tesco in Portwood, Stockport.
Dez Richardson, a blue badge holder himself, was shocked when he came across a vehicle on Tuesday, August 17 with a permit hastily drawn on a scrap of a McDonald’s paper bag.
The 38-year-old watched as two giggling “able-bodied” teens emerged from the car and while he acknowledges that they may have invisible disabilites, he is convinced they were just “taking the p**s”.
The dad of two, shared the incident on social media, believing it would make the “selfish” driver think twice about pulling a stunt like that again and that many would also be outraged.
Instead, he ended up having to defend himself against a number of Facebook users who insisted he shouldn’t “make assumptions”, especially as he himself has a hidden disability.
The HGV driver from Greater Manchester said: “I was parking in Tesco car park and this fella pulled in next to me – he was probably about 19 or 20 and had his lass with him who was about the same age.
“They got out laughing and chuckling to themselves and I noticed something out of the corner of my eye on the dash as I walked around to my wife’s side of the car.
“I thought ‘that’s not a blue badge’ so I had a look and saw what it was – I just thought ‘you are kidding me’.
“You’ve got almost an entirely empty car park but you’ve chosen to go out of your way to behave like this – what does it actually achieve other than show-boating your own selfishness?
“It wouldn’t have been as bad if nothing was there but it was the fact that he went out of his way to draw a fake badge just to take the p**s, that’s just taking time to be intentionally obnoxious.”
Dez has a blue badge due to painful damage to his spine and knees that reduces his mobility.
And earlier that very same day he himself was questioned over parking in a disabled bay due to not having a visible disability and so he actively recognises and respects invisible disabilities.
Despite this, he still thinks the teenager’s makeshift badge was offensive to disabled people.
He continued: “I’m well aware and respectful of invisible disabilities but he was clearly an energetic young lad and I just thought there’s no way – you just can’t believe the audacity of it.
“My understanding is that if you have a blue badge you use it and if you don’t have one you don’t use a bay.
“What that behaviour exhibited was just a complete arrogant entitlement – you don’t go out of your way to draw something like that and pretend to be something you’re not.”
The dad shared the incident on Facebook, calling out the driver’s behaviour.
The post was met with numerous comments from members of the public insisting that Dez himself was making an unfair assumption about the driver’s disability status.
Dez added: “I posted about it wondering if someone would recognise his car and say something to him, hoping he would think ‘I’ve been caught here’ and maybe next time not be quite as arrogant.
“At the end of the day, no one’s ever going to stop behaving like that and not get in the way of someone who may need that space unless they’re called out or embarrassed by it.
“The negative comments all went down the line of ‘how do you know he’s not disabled, you can’t make assumptions’ and of course you can’t but if someone was disabled they’d have the blue badge wouldn’t they.
“How obvious can it be that this is a person that’s taking the p**s! People are just arguing for argument’s sake.
“You can argue with these people until you’re blue in the face but they’ve just got the attitude of ‘it’s private land, I’m entitled’ – but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”