A Queensland father has hit out after he claims he was unfairly targeted in a shopping centre car park when he returned to his car to find an aggressive note left on it.
The man had been shopping at Stockland shopping centre in Birtinya on the Sunshine Coast with his young son when he came back to his vehicle — parked in a "parking with prams" spot — to discover a belligerent message left behind.
“Parent parking,” the note said, with the word parent underlined. “For people with babies/kids in the car. Not selfish c***s like yourself.”
In a photo taken of the note, it is being held by the man who appears to be holding the young boy in his arms. In the background a blue car can be seen parked in the allocated pram spot.
“Thank you to whoever left this note for us at Stockland,” he wrote on Facebook. “[I] wasn’t aware that my kid didn’t count as a kid…”
Social media backlash
The “rude” social media post has since gone viral, racking up more than 730 reactions. “What a disgusting thing to write, the language is totally unacceptable,” one person wrote.
“People need to chill out, shame on them,” said another. “Some humans are so low to take the effort to write such a rude [and] unnecessary note,” added a third.
Debate over priority parking for parents
However the post also sparked fierce debate between drivers over whether or not parents should receive priority parking.
“I don’t understand why parents get parking preferences,” one man wrote. “They don’t have a disability. They made a choice to have children.”
“Those spaces are provided as a convenience, parents are not entitled to them just because they have kids,” another argued.
But there were plenty of mums and dads who jumped to the defence of parents everywhere. “The parks are larger so we can get the child in/out,” one mother said. “Why is it so hard for others to not park in these spots?”
“Normal car spaces are too narrow to open the rear door fully without hitting the other car,” another parent agreed.
What does the law say?
While the car parking spots — marked with a blue sign of a pram — are designated for parents, there aren’t actually any laws in place making a pram a legal requirement for drivers who park there. While car park management could ask someone without a pram or child to vacate the space, it’s not an enforceable rule according to the NRMA.
“It is vital that parents don’t take matters into their own hands if they see someone parking in a 'parents with prams' spot when they shouldn’t,” a spokesperson for the NRMA told Yahoo News Australia.
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