Who can use 'parents with prams' spaces?

Parents with prams parking spots
Parents with prams parking spots
Key take outs
  • Parents with prams car spaces are not enforced under NSW law. 
  • These spaces are provided by the owners of the private property. 
  • While car park management could ask someone without a pram or infant to vacate the space, it's not enforceable by law.

We often get asked whether parents with prams parking spots are for pregnant women as well so we investigated the road rules that pertain to car parks.

So what does the law say?

Parents with prams car spaces are provided by the owners of car parks as a courtesy and are not enforced by law. For the system to work it requires people to do the right thing and only park there if they have small children and prams to unload. A recent NRMA survey showed that one-in-five parents admit to using 'parents with prams' parking sports when their child was no longer in a pram or not with them.

These parking spaces are designated with a distinctive pram symbol. They are usually bigger than regular spots, to allow parents more room to manage prams and infants and they are often closer to the entrance, to reduce the distance young children must travel in a high traffic area.

The short answer is that legally there is nothing to prevent a person without a pram, or infant, parking in a pram spot. It is at the management’s discretion how they choose to enforce parent parking rules. Like allocated ‘seniors only’ parking, these spots are provided courtesy of the owners of the property to help customers who are generally regarded as less mobile. So while car park management could ask someone without a pram, or infant, to vacate a parent parking spot, it’s not enforceable by law.

Therefore, the right thing to do comes down to common courtesy. We all have a part to play in keeping roads and car parks safe and fair. It is reasonable that parents with children, as well as senior drivers, need ease of access more than regular drivers. Heavily pregnant women could also fall into this category, which the law does not define (although private car parks may have guidelines for their premises).

However, just because you can’t be punished by the law for parking in these spots, it’s not okay for people who don’t need them to use them. It boils down to respect for others and basic civic duty.

Children are more at risk of being involved in a crash due to their unpredictability around cars and they can also be hard for other drivers to see so ensuring convenient parking close to entrances is available for parents with young children is really important.

Our advice to Members is be mindful, courteous and vigilant at all times. If you don’t have young children or prams with you, don’t park in a parents with prams spot so it’s available for someone who really needs it.

Always hold your child’s hand even if there are no cars around and secure them in their car seat before you put your shopping in the boot. Then you don't need to worry about kids running off into danger when you have your hands full.

Meanwhile, disabled parking spots are definitely enforceable under NSW Road Rule 203, on the basis that those spaces are for the ‘sole use of persons with disabilities’.

Do you think these parking spots should be enforceable by NSW law?