Getting Kids Out of a Tight (Parking) Spot

Crowded outdoor parking lot
Is it okay to scratch a car that is parked too close when attempting to extract a child from a car seat?

In New Zealand, an intense debate is taking place about parent parking. Someone left a note inside a car window asking drivers to try and leave some room when parking next to a passenger door where a child might be seated. Because parents can have a dickens of a time getting their kids out of cars in crowded parking lots.

The note read:

“Please leave space to fully open this door. This will avoid dings and scratches to your vehicle. Thank you!”

Parent Parking Sign in New Zealand

The debate that sprung up on social media, after a photo of the note was posted, centers on whether the problem is a need for bigger parking lots, or a need to be more considerate of others. One commenter wrote, “We shouldn’t have to remind people about common courtesy, but sometimes a gentle nudge seems to be needed.”

Another commenter agreed that it’s tough on parents when cars are parked too close to each other, and that there may be a need for roomier parking lots. She still didn’t like it that the sign seemed to be giving permission for a parent to damage another driver’s car. “A sign like this one doesn’t give you the right to ding someone’s car if they are parked within their own lines.

“Tight parking sucks, but still doesn’t give you the right to damage other’s property.”

Another note-leaver handled the problem of problematic parking in a slightly different way.

“Whenever he spied a vehicle parked outside its lines at the local shopping centre, he would leave the owner a note, complete with a cartoon turtle.”

Turtle coloring page reminds drivers to park inside the lines

“‘Many three year olds have trouble staying within the lines,’ the note read. ‘Maybe if you practice colouring this turtle, it will help with your parking.’”



2 Responses

  1. This is such a HUGE debate. You can argue that no notes are necessary and you should always give space to cars beside you when parking your car OR it is still your responsibility to be careful when opening your car door when you have a child and assist them in getting down.

    1. It’s also about the parking lots and how much space is left between spots. If you don’t have room to get your child out of the car, a note won’t help.

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