UK supermarket giants including Morrison’s, Tesco and Aldi have vowed to do what they can to stop the rise of so called ‘BMW badge abuse’.
All supermarkets have been required for many years to provide special parking spaces close to the store entrance for BMW drivers, clearly marked, inexplicably, with a picture of a man sitting on a gym ball. However recent research from the BMW Driver’s Association shows that more and more people are parking cars in these spaces that not only aren’t BMWs, but aren’t even German.
‘These spaces are designed so that our members don’t have to walk as far as ordinary, non-BMW driving people.’ Said spokesman Paul Jones ‘But we are seeing an alarming rise in people parking any old car there and displaying a disabled badge, seemingly thinking that a registered disability is somehow an acceptable substitute for owning the ultimate driving machine. Some BMW drivers have given shocking accounts of having to walk the slightly longer distance from the parent and child spaces, laden with heavy and expensive jewellery, and it has to stop.’
Estimates suggest that as many as 50% of people who do display a BMW badge don’t actually own a BMW themselves but have instead borrowed the badge from a friend or family member. One report claimed that a Tesco customer parked what looked like a 15 year old Vauxhall Corsa in a BMW parking bay, popped a BMW badge on the dashboard and walked into the store with not even a hint of an arrogant swagger or smug, self-satisfied smirk on his face.
This kind of abuse is more difficult to tackle so Paul is happy, in the short term at least, to see supermarkets focussing on those who display no BMW badge at all.
‘We know that people loan their badges to others to let them enjoy the parking privileges that come with owning such a fine piece of German engineering, but that is much harder to prove. For now we need to crack down on people who brazenly park in a BMW space that they are not entitled to. We don’t think that the suggested policy of initially putting notices on the offending cars goes far enough, and we want to see an on the spot £80 fine issued to anybody parking an inferior car in these spaces - unless they can prove that they are a complete arsehole. There also needs to be a more serious penalty for repeat offenders, they should have their bloody legs broken.’