Howard County Anti-ICEing Law Update – Police to Enforce on Private Property

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Remember that Howard County Law that was meant to punish drivers that ICEd charging stations? When I checked with the police last year, only one ticket had been written and a memo had been sent to the entire force that the law was unenforceable except on County-owned property. That certainly wasn’t our intent when we advocated for the law.

After many conversations with the Howard County Police, County Attorneys, my Council representative and state lawmakers, the law is finally going to be “fixed” so there will be a deterrent at the charging stations in the county where ICEing continues to be a problem such as at the Columbia Association’s Athletic Club parking lot.

Earlier today, a bill was prefiled that will fix the ambiguity in the Howard County Code that has prevented the police from enforcing the anti-ICEing law on private property.

The bill, CB7-2016, will be introduced at the February 1st County Council Legislative Session and voted on at the March 7th session. A public hearing is scheduled for February 16.

The new bill will add the following two sentences:
(1) THE POLICE DEPARTMENT MAY ENFORCE THIS SECTION ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(2) THE POLICE DEPARTMENT MAY IMPOUND A VEHICLE THAT IS PARKED IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.

The new language has been vetted by the Howard County Office of Law, the police union and the County Police Chief. Once it is passed, the police will be able to respond to complaints of ICEing at charging spots on private property provided the spots are designated with signs that meet the criteria spelled out in the law.

Thank you to the EV drivers who wrote, called, testified and supported the previous bill. Also thanks to Council Members Jen Terrasa and Calvin Ball who sponsored this bill and Kate McLeod, Special Assistant to Ms. Terrasa, who worked on the bill and kept us in communication.

A state-wide anti-ICEing bill is being proposed for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly.

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