Ever used a parent and child parking space because you do have children, who may or may not be in the vehicle, and you are in a hurry, making a quick stop on the way home? These parking spaces are great for making life easier, they are closer to the entrance and have wider spaces, and great for opening up the doors without scratching your car. A blessing in disguise, but incorrectly using a designated bay can attract a hefty fine.
In an article covered by The Sun (Jan 2019), a mum was fined £260 for NOT taking her children OUT of the car when using a designated parent parking bay. The private parking firm National Parking Enforcement (NPE), was accused of showing ‘no humanity’ based on their decision to fine her for taking up the ‘extra space’ on the ground that the children were IN the vehicle and remained there for the duration of time, therefore eliminating her requirement for additional space that a parent with children who were accessing the store may have required.
A National Parking Enforcement (NPE) company spokesman said: “No children exited the vehicle and therefore the driver did not require the extra space provided and should have parked in a regular parking bay.”
In her defence, the mum claimed : “I didn’t even know it was against the rules to leave your kids in the car in a parents’ parking space. I went back and read the small print on the sign and it did say you’ve got to be accompanied out of the vehicle by a child under the age of 12. I admit I didn’t see that.”
So what are the rules for designated parking spaces?
It is not against the law to use these spaces as they are on private land, it is up to the private firms to monitor and enforce the use of spaces allocated on their land and issue penalties for misusing their spaces.
However, car parks are required to clearly display their terms, if in doubt, read the small print. Most private parking firms require the child to be under 12 years of age, whilst others may require booster seats or baby carriers, whilst others may allow only babies and toddlers.
Legal expense insurance is always worth having, whilst it will NOT get you out of paying your parking penalties or settle ‘misunderstandings relating to small print’, having legal cover when a solicitor is required for a disputes relating to tradesmen, contractual problems relating to the sale of your home, or even problems at work where a Union is not involved, may provide some peace of mind, particularly when covering the cost of legal advice and expenses.
Speak to one of our team about the benefits of having legal expense insurance on your policies.