A new mother who endured a 17 hour labour was horrified when she later received a parking fine for $170 because she couldn’t move her car.

Rachael Betteridge-Lucky and her mother rushed to Ipswich Hospital in Brisbane’s south-east in August 2018 to deliver baby Clara.

After driving around the hospital’s multi-storey, paid-parking facility they had to settle for a three-hour parking spot on nearby Walker St, The Courier Mail reported.

Ms Betteridge-Lucky rushed to hospital at 3.30am and endured a traumatic labour that ended at 8.30pm that night.

More than a month after giving birth, the young woman was furious when she received a $170 fine for parking in the spot for longer than three hours.

‘This was only three-hour parking and it doesn’t take three hours to have a baby,’ Ms Betteridge-Lucky said.

Her mother intended to move the car, but was afraid to leave her daughter’s side as the labour was difficult.

‘Because my birth didn’t go very smoothly Mum stayed with me … I just wasn’t so healthy,’ she said.

In an attempt to get the fine waived, the young mother called council and explained the situation.

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A woman talked Ms Betteridge-Lucky through the process but the council never responded to her request.

She heard nothing back from the council until she was issued a final notice of demand in January.

The young mother is urging Ipswich City Council and the hospital to make parking easier for patients as she said it’s not something people should need to worry about.

Have you had a similar experience?

Share your comments below

  • I know the parking places need money to pay for the maintenance of the parking structures. It is just so dear to park near most of the hospital. If someone is there for a while and no one to move the car, it can be a very dear park. Some hospitals will not let you leave until it is paid due to those machines.


  • I think hospitals should do away with paid parking people are there for their health


  • Our hospital carpark was always very full, they have since made extra parks which now makes it easier


  • While I don’t agree with her essentially being fined for having a baby, I do understand that there are restrictions put in place for a reason, and in defense of the council and parking inspector, how did they know that she had gone into labour? Now that they know the fine should be reversed, but you just need to be careful when parking I guess!


  • It’s crazy how full hospital car parks are


  • Surely they could wave this considering the circumstances.


  • Yep. Hospital parking is an absolute money grab. Charge you by the hour, available spots are few and it’s the last thing you should have to worry about. The system needs to change for sure. You’d think the council would be more understanding.


  • Pretty disgraceful. The parking around hospitals can be nightmarish. A neighbour was fined some scary amount when he drove himself to hospital because he thought he was having a heart attack (he was). He obviously couldn’t move his car but no amount of letter writing changed the fine.


  • All parking around hospitals should be free, the councils really like cashing in on the hardest times in people’s lives


  • I got a parking fine for rushing my daughter to emergency from concussion couldn’t stop her vomiting fro ma accident at Kindy and didn’t want to leave my daughter at the time my hubby was away with work even when I wrote a letter explaining the situation and my 4 year old wouldn’t let me leave her in the hospital to move my car and they didn’t care and still made me pay it
    Yes I think some times they need to let It go


  • I think this classifies as extenuating circumstances and should be let go.


  • You would certainly think this might be regarded as special circumstances!


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