PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that would require large parking lots statewide to designate spots for those with young children in baby strollers.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jonathon Acosta and Rep. Joshua Giraldo, would require parking lots with more than 100 spaces to reserve a certain number of spots for those traveling with young children in strollers.
“Everyone who has or has cared for young children knows the challenges of navigating a busy parking lot,” Acosta said. “This bill is a simple fix that will help keep young children safe in busy parking lots while also offering their parents or caregivers a slight sense of stress relief while going about their daily business.”
The bill requires parking lots with between 101 and 500 spaces to designate two spots, while lots with 501 to 1,000 spaces would need to designate three spots. Parking lots with more than 1,000 spaces would be required to reserve an additional spot for every 500 spaces.
“Parking lots are often hectic places, creating dangerous environments and situations for young children and their parents and guardians,” Giraldo said. “This bill will ease the stress parents and guardians face when bringing their children to the store in a stroller, but most importantly, it will help protect our kids from the terrible possible tragedies that can occur in a busy parking lot.”
The parking spaces would only be reserved for those traveling with children under the age of three. The legislation would not apply to parking lots in single-family, duplex, townhouse or multifamily residences or industrial zoned properties.
The bill now heads to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk for consideration. It’s unclear at this time whether he plans to sign it.