MOTORISTS misusing Blue Badges are being offered the chance to hand them in to Oxfordshire County Council without fear of punishment. 

For the first time, the authority is offering a 10-day amnesty, starting from today, for drivers to hand in badges, no questions asked.

The Blue Badges could have expired, belong to another person or be no longer necessary. 

Motorists can hand them in at County Hall, at any library around the country or send them to Blue Badge Service, PO Box 873, Oxford, OX1 9NY.

Judith Heathcoat Deputy Leader of the Oxfordshire County Council and Cabinet member for customer services said: “The Blue Badge Service is a lifeline for many disabled people who cannot travel far from their vehicle. 

"However, the system is sadly abused, which affects those who rely on it. We would like to give the opportunity to people who may be misusing blue badges to dispose of them and avoid further prosecution.”

Over 22,000 people in Oxfordshire have a Blue Badge issued by the county council. 

The badge holder can use it whenever they travel as a driver or a passenger.

Usually those found misusing a Blue Badge face a fine of up to £1000 and a criminal record. 

Last year, 600 Blue Badges were checked and 12 removed, with 10 warnings issued that resulted in two prosecutions.

The amnesty runs until December 13, for more information visit the county council's website.