Aussie mum’s common parking gripe exposes widespread problem

Drivers are debating who is allowed to use parent parking bays.

Mum Rhiannon speaking to the camera about a man using a parent parking bay himself (left) and mum-of-two Montana said she would never use it if she didn't have her kids with her despite being a parent and also pregnant (right).
Parents are weighing in on how they think parent parking bays should be used by drivers. Source: TikTok

The widespread debate around who can use parent parking bays has been reignited after one mum claims they should only be used by a someone with their child or a pram in tow. Aussie mum Rhiannon shared her opinion after watching a video of a woman using one of the bays while taking a solo trip to the supermarket.

"Does this irritate anybody else? Those are designed for parents with a pram or at least have your child with you," she said online. Rhiannon said she didn't have her son with her at the time, "so it was fine", but the shopper in question just had "balloons in her trolley".

"Not a child — balloons! Oh my god ... just don't park in them!"

Earlier this week, another pregnant mum was left exhausted from squeezing her two children, her groceries and her "big pregnant belly" into her car parked in a standard sized bay after the parent parking bays were all being used.

Mum-of-two Montana was left feeling "really frustrated" from the struggle this week and believes the larger parking bays are designed specifically to help parents like her in moments like that, not just parents broadly.

"It's parent with pram parking ... I don't think that just means if you're a parent you get to use it or if you're pregnant you get to use it," she said. "I'm pregnant and I would never take up a parent park just for myself."

"Too many times I have seen parents either get their older kids out of the car, like 10 or 12 year old kids, or parents get out the car with no kids. I'm like, 'what are you doing?'"

A stream of parents replied to Montana in the comments, agreeing with her opinion. However, parent parking bays are not enforceable by law, meaning there is no legal implications for those drivers who don't fall into the criteria but park in the bay anyway.

"Meh might be morally wrong but not illegal," one person wrote online, while another said if the parent parking bay is free she will "always" pull her car in. "And when I did have prams I never needed a special parking spot, [I] managed just fine," she added.

Parent parking bays are usually positioned closer to store entrances and can be enticing for drivers who simply need a park, however, parents say it's all about the extra space. Having extra space allows parents to load and unload their car with bulky items like prams without fear of hitting another car with their door.

The debate around parent parking bays and who should use them has become a contentious topic with one mum claiming in 2019 a woman in her 40s assaulted her in Smithfield Shopping Centre, north of Cairns, for using a bay without a pram. The mum claims the woman spat on her and even inflicted a deep scratch on her car.

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