Parent and child parking: why is it being abused?

by - Friday, May 11, 2007

Abuse of parent and child parking spaces is one of my pet hates. In fact, it often infuriates me that people with no children deliberately park in these spaces, ensuring that struggling parents with crying babies, buggies and arms full of shopping have to struggle across the car park.

A few weeks ago, I spotted an empty parent and child space in the local shopping centre's car park. Just as I was manouvering to drive in, a white transit van nipped in instead. I was slightly miffed to say the least, but when I saw a single guy step out in worker's overalls, no child in sight, I was infuriated:

"Hey, I was just about to park there!"
"So what? I got there first!"
"It's a parent and child space. I don't see any kids with you. So move your van."
"No! There's no law against me parking here, is there?"
As luck had it, a parking attendent overheard our "conversation" and told the guy he'd better move if he didn't want to get a ticket for "obstructive parking". That's right: "obstructive parking" not "abuse of parent and child facilities"! Still, I felt better that his behavious had been corrected.

Here in the UK, those who abuse disabled parking facilities are fined when caught. However, those who abuse parent and child allocations are not. I personally feel it is about time this changed.

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