Pregnant woman under fire after being fined $587 for parking in a handicapped space at a mall: ‘I thought I was allowed’
- Woman parked at Bondi mall
- She said there were no “parents and strollers” spaces available
- Mothers called pregnant woman ‘righteous’
A pregnant woman has faced a backlash after she challenged a $500 fine she received for parking in a handicapped parking lot while running errands.
The woman, who is 28 weeks pregnant, was at the Eastgate Shopping Center in Bondi Junction, Sydney, looking for a “parents and strollers” parking space.
She explained in a post shared to the Eastern Suburbs Mums Facebook Group that there were no “parents and strollers” spaces available on the Coles level of the car park, so she decided to park her car in a disabled parking space.
“I had to go one morning… I wasn’t feeling well… without much time to run some errands and couldn’t find a parking space for pregnant women (on Level 3),” she wrote.
“I thought I was allowed to park in the handicapped parking spaces (I hope they don’t expect a pregnant woman to lug her groceries to the end of the parking lot).
The woman, who is 28 weeks pregnant, decided to park in a disabled parking space after struggling to find a ‘parents and pushchair’ car park near Coles (stock image)
The mom-to-be was then fined $587 for parking in an unlicensed disabled parking lot and asked other moms if it was “worth going to court.”
She claimed that the fine was expensive and that she could use the money to buy things for her unborn baby, Yahoo News reported.
“I signed up to explain the situation assuming they would understand, but they came back to me and said they still had to fine me.”
But other moms weren’t sympathetic to the pregnant woman’s plight, calling her “entitled” to ask.
There’s absolutely no point in going to court. To park in a disabled parking space, you need a disabled parking card,” said one person.
“Being pregnant doesn’t make you disabled,” another person wrote.
“I actually can’t believe you’re asking this. It has so many rights,” another person added.
The woman parked in the Eastgate mall parking lot (pictured) and was fined $587 for parking in an unlicensed disabled parking space
Other mothers labeled her “entitled” and criticized the woman for wanting to challenge the fine (stock image)
A fourth person wrote, “People with disabilities need those spaces for so many reasons. And if you haven’t noticed yet, they are often full!!’
The Eastgate shopping center car park, which is co-owned by Waverly Council, has a total of eight spaces for ‘parents with pushchairs’ on the fourth and fifth floors.
“Parents with pushchairs” are provided by the property owners to help customers who are generally considered less mobile, according to NRMA.
While parking management may ask someone without a stroller or infant to leave a parent’s parking space, this is not legally enforceable.
However, drivers are not allowed to stop or park their vehicle in a parking space designated for people with disabilities without a permit.
Parking in an unlicensed handicap parking lot carries a maximum fine of $2,200, but is usually settled through an on-the-spot fine of $587 plus one demerit point.
Women who develop pregnancy complications should check with their doctor about whether they are eligible for a temporary parking permit.