Breast feeding mum fined for stopping in no-parking zone

Jodi - posted on 09/04/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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A mum was told to pay a $120 fine after pulling over in a no-stopping zone to breastfeed her six-month-old son.

Renee Buckley, from Altona North, was on her way to Avalon Airport to pick up her mum when her son, Alistair, started to cry.

After struggling to drive while her hungry baby was screaming in the back seat, she pulled over in Beach Road to feed him.

"I noticed someone in my rear view mirror taking a photograph and I thought to myself 'is this guy fining me?'," she told 3AW.

"He's there snapping away and I had my hazard lights on to signal to him that I had to pull over.

"I wanted to actually get out and go speak to him to explain my situation....and he just drove off."

Renee said she was shocked, when weeks later, she received a penalty notice from Geelong City council informing her she would have to pay a $120 fine for parking in a no-stopping zone.

"I just felt like I was treated unfairly," she said.

"I didn't know that it was a no-stopping area. I thought it was a safe place to pull over.

"I normally pull up inside the airport but because he was fussy, I pulled over and I didn't see the sign."

Renee said she was unsure whether the parking officer knew she was breastfeeding, but said he should have approached the car.

"I think it's highway robbery," she said. "They saw this opportunity and they are using it to make money off of people. For us that's an expensive fine. I think it's wrong."

Geelong City Council confirmed it has received a complaint from Ms Buckley and will assess the matter after it receives the relevant paperwork.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/latest/a/-/...

What do you think? Personally, I believe the fact that she was breastfeeding is irrelevant. It was a no stopping zone, and ignorance (ie. I didn't see the sign) is no excuse. It is our responsibility to check whether we are legally parked or not. The article indicates that she simply didn't see the sign, not that there wasn't one.

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Jenni - posted on 09/05/2011

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This is bad publicity for breastfeeding moms, imo.

It makes moms who just want the right to breastfeed in public without being harrassed look like their being self-entitled. Like we expect everyone to bend and break the rules to accomidate nursing mothers. All most nursing mothers are asking is for the right to nurse their child when their child is hungry. This story just paints nursing mothers as if they expect society to bend over backwards to accomidate their needs. No, most nursing mothers just want to feed their babies not impose themselves on others and expect exceptions to be made for them.

[deleted account]

It wasn't an emergency. It really wasn't. She could have exited and fed her child. Her hissy fit is just that. She could have caused an accident. That's why certain zones are no stopping - because their positioning is such that it can easily have accidents in those spots due to whatever conditions.

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Becky - posted on 09/05/2011

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I agree with everyone else, a no stopping zone is a no stopping zone. Yes, driving with a screaming, hungry baby is stressful, but it's doable, especially for a few more minutes until you reach a safe place to stop. I'd rather listen to the screaming for a few extra minutes than stop in an unsafe location and put both our lives in danger!
I do agree that he should have checked to make sure there was no emergency though.

[deleted account]

No, they are not making money of people, they are enforcing the LAW. Does breast feeding exempt you from the LAW? Pay up girl and stop complaining. Having a crying baby does not give you the licence to do park where you should not park.

Jodi - posted on 09/05/2011

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No, I get what you're saying Teresa and agree someone should have checked everything was ok.

Johnny - posted on 09/05/2011

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Would they not at least try to get a look in the car? I can understand the safety issue in terms of approaching the vehicle.... but what if someone is in distress? Our parking control officers are similar, city workers and not police, but you do see them on the news once in a while having saved someone having a heart attack or finding some stolen memorabilia or something.

[deleted account]

Oh... so if someone is having a heart attack or a broken down car they're just out of luck?



I guess it makes 'sense', but I still don't agree w/ it.

Jodi - posted on 09/05/2011

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They are just city council workers. They are probably instructed NOT to approach a car for their safety.....

Jodi - posted on 09/05/2011

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Just for the record, it wouldn't have been a police officer. Parking officers in Australia are not law enforcement officers, they are just everyday people like you or I and it is just a job.

Johnny - posted on 09/05/2011

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I do agree with you about that Teresa. A cop should consider that someone stopped in a no stopping zone with their hazard lights on may be in distress. That is a bit troublesome. But in her case she needs to stop whining and pay the ticket.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/05/2011

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No stopping is no stopping and not seeing the sign is a piss poor excuse. No stopping zones often exist for safety reasons. You can't just be unsafe because your kid wants to eat. I'm sure we've all been there, but no. Not a good enough excuse.

[deleted account]

I agree w/ the no stopping means no stopping point and that ignorance is no excuse, but.... since she had her hazard lights on I think it was kind of 'irresponsible' for him to not approach the car to give the ticket. What IF her vehicle had broken down or she was having a medical emergency?

Since that wasn't the case.... she should just shut up and pay the ticket (vent your annoyance to your friends, but don't make it public). I just wanted to bring up a point of why SOME people may be stopped in the no stopping zone so that the officers SHOULD check out the reason. ;)

Becky - posted on 09/05/2011

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OK, I see her point, that if she was going to get a ticket, why did they have to just take a photo & mail the ticket several weeks later? Why would they not have given her the ticket on the spot? That part I find a bit odd.

Other than that? I've driven though a blizzard with a screaming 1 year old for 3 hours! I got caught 1/2 way up North when the weather took an unexpected turn - my daughter, for no real reason didn't feel like cooperating in the car any more. The weather extended a normally one hour drive into a 3 hour drive. She didn't stop screaming until we got out of the car! Talk about stressful!!! But I managed . . .difficult yes, but you can manage a bit of distance with a fussy baby for the sake of safety too! (P.S. at few points on our horrific ride, I did pull onto side roads to try & feed her, check er diaper, etc!)

Fussy kids in the car is a standard part of being a parent! Deal with it! It doesn't give you the right to stop where you're not supposed to.

Sherri - posted on 09/05/2011

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Sorry she broke the law so pay the ticket and move on. She needs to pay attention not only to her baby but her surroundings. She should be happy she didn't cause an accident or get her or her child killed. It is no stopping for a reason, because it isn't safe.

Johnny - posted on 09/05/2011

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It's a no stopping zone. I'm sure she could have found a place to stop and do this. The child could have waited the extra minute or two. It doesn't matter what she was doing, it was a no stopping zone and she chose not to bother looking first. It's not a "medical emergency" which is a good reason for stopping in those zones (at least here). She's making nursing moms look bad.

[deleted account]

No stopping is no stopping, and for a reason! It had nothing to do with breastfeeding, although this woman IS making it all about her "discrimination". If I pulled over in a no-stopping zone to take a phone call, or to fix my lipstick, or to tie my son's sneaker, it is still stopping in a no-stopping zone! Period-pay the fine!

Jenni - posted on 09/05/2011

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geez, it's a $120 ticket... get over it! lol She's not doing any other breastfeeding moms any favours. :P

Rosie - posted on 09/05/2011

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i think she's the one pushing it with her formal complaint to the council.

Jenni - posted on 09/05/2011

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Yeah, definitely a lame excuse to get out of paying a ticket... but why has this been made into an article? How is this news worthy? What is the agenda behind this article?

It just seems like a way to make breastfeeding moms look bad and self-entitled.

Rosie - posted on 09/05/2011

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um, she broke the rules so she has to pay. what other excuses could people come up with to get out of a ticket? ffs people, give me a break.

Sarah - posted on 09/05/2011

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It's a no stopping zone......so you don't stop!

I think people are just using breastfeeding to make a big deal out it, and she's just using it as an excuse not to get fined.

I wonder if the reaction would have been the same if she bottle feeding at the time?

Kate CP - posted on 09/05/2011

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Yea, there's no reason for her to stop in a no-stopping zone. I can understand her frazzled state of mind, but she should have found a parking spot or something. Pulling over on the side of the road is really dangerous no matter where you are. It's better to park in a designated parking spot.

Minnie - posted on 09/05/2011

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I know how it feels to have a baby who wants to nurse several times an hour and who thinks her car seat is made of sulphuric acid. It's not so easy to just say "didn't she feed her baby before she left?" It doesn't work that way for every baby.

BUT- it was a no-stopping zone and those are put there for safety reasons. I know it can be dangerous to drive when you're so affected by a screaming baby but it's got to be dangerous to stop in an area like that too. Usually one can just grip that steering wheel and drive for a few more seconds to find a spot that's safer and -legal-.

Don't know about Australia's laws but in most US states it's "wherever the mother has the right to be" regarding protecting breastfeeding rights- and in the US such a zone would not be an area she has the right to be in.

[deleted account]

Yep I agree - there's always a good reason its a no stopping zone, she could have driven another 50m and found a better spot to stop. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with it...

Stifler's - posted on 09/05/2011

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I agree, irrelevant. Did old mate even know she was breastfeeding? Are they fining her for breastfeeding? No they're fining her for stopping in a no parking zone and they probably wouldn't accept any other excuse either.

Michelle - posted on 09/05/2011

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I agree as well. I'm sure she could've pulled off into a side street. Obviously if there's a no stopping sign it would be a fairly busy road.
I don't know Melbourne but how far was she from the airport? Didn't she feed him before she left home? That's what I always did when I was BF. Made sure they were full up before heading off.

Firebird - posted on 09/04/2011

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I agree with you, no stopping means no stopping. "Ignorance is no excuse." I couldn't have said it better. She wasn't treated unfairly, she was treated with standard protocol.

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