Accessible parking spaces have existed since time immemorial, and while they are a convenience for the disabled, plenty of regular motorists also use these spaces when they can’t find a parking spot. Why? They are close to the superstore or whatever venue you are parking at and are usually roomier.
Now, the UK has an extra convenience for parents with little children, parent and child parking spaces! These spaces are wider and allow for more room for children to be taken out and put into the vehicle. They are also closer to the supermarket, meaning that parents will not have to handle little children through a crowded parking lot with cars coming and leaving. We all have witnessed how hazardous that can be, haven’t we? Mothers screaming at one toddler to get out of the way of a car reversing while trying to grab the other one as he/she tries to make a run for it is an all too common scene.
It is pretty obvious that parent and child parking spaces are a significant necessity which is why they are allocated to parents with children years 12 or younger. Some grocery stores also let pregnant women park in these places to make getting out of the car easier for them. However, not all grocery stores except Tesco, have mentioned that pregnant women are allowed to use these spaces.
The problem? The same problem that we have with accessible parking spots. Ordinary motorists like to use these parking spots without fulfilling the requirement of being a parent and travelling with children. Ordinary motorists like these spaces because they are a short distance away from superstores and are considerably wider than usual spots giving them enough door room and also allowing amateur drivers enough space to swerve into a parking position- a difficult feat for some!
However, this is not fair as parents with children are not able to find these free parking spots when they need them because others carelessly park there. A study has suggested that two out of three parents are not able to find a spot because someone else has parked there- someone who did not have children with them.
When monitored, it was found that one in four people were found to be misusing the parking spot- adults going to the supermarket without children. Most of them claimed that they could not find another parking spot elsewhere or thought that there were plenty of other parents with children parking bays available and taking one spot was not harming anyone. The percentage of people misusing the parent-child parking area varied in different regions of the UK, the highest being in the North East and the lowest being in the South West.
There are consequences involved with parking in the wrong spot. Although not illegal, if cars are found to park in a parent with children zone without fulfilling the criteria, they may have to face a fine. Hence, isn’t it best to not take what’s not yours, before you have to pay for it?
Drive and park safe and let others be safe too!