Permit needed for moms and tots spot

2017-07-03 13:52
The moms and tots parking at Cascades Shopping Centre.

The moms and tots parking at Cascades Shopping Centre. (Ian Carbutt)

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With inconsiderate drivers “stealing” family-zoned parking bays from parents and their tots, a local shopping centre has reacted with strict rules.

The newly upgraded Cascades Life­style Centre in Pietermaritzburg has introduced a parking permit system that operates similarly to disabled parking bays. Families have to apply for parking discs that will allow anyone shopping with a baby to park in the designated space.

You will only qualify to park in the specific parking bay if you have your baby present with you on the day and your child is not over three years old.

Spokesperson for Cascades Lifestyle Centre Viv Quann said that over the years, and especially over the last few months during the renovations, they received numerous complaints from parents saying the bays were almost always used by drivers who did not have children, or their children were much older and did not require car seats and prams. Quann said a few incidents even resulted in physical violence when such drivers were approached.

“Our car guards have taken some serious verbal abuse from drivers who insist that the ‘Moms & Tots’ signs and bays are just [suggestions],” she said.

Quann said the common statement that car guards hear from the drivers is, “I have kids. They are just not with me right now.”

“With this information at hand, and after trying every other system possible such as cones and clamping, and to ensure our regular patrons with their tots always get priority parking, we very recently introduced the free Moms and Tots parking permits,” Quann said.

To apply for a permit, parents need to bring proof of a child’s date of birth and their vehicle registrations (if multiple cars are used in the family) once.

“Even just a photo of the vehicle number plate is fine. This is to ensure we have the correct registration number and the child’s year of birth for the permit,” said Quann.

Parents need to do this only once and the permit is valid until the child is three years old.

The permit displays the vehicle registration, the expiry date and it only expires when the child is three years old. “Parents may apply for multiple permits for their range of family cars all at the same time,” she added.

Applications are available at the Cascades Info Kiosk, and via e-mail at and it can be e-mailed back to the same address.

Some quick and easy Q&As

• Does every person who parks in these bays have to produce a disk?

Yes, although our car guards can use their discretion when a driver is from out of town and they have a child under three years old with them.

What would happen in the case of another member of the family bringing the baby to the centre but they do not have the child’s birth certificate?

Parents may apply for permits for all their cars, including other family members, at the same time.

What would happen in the case of someone from out of town visiting the centre and they do not have their proof of registration or their baby’s birth certificate on hand?

Two assumed scenarios could play out here: one — they ask the car guard to please use their discretion, or, two — they park in the next-door parking bay.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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