My phone rang and the voice at the other end said he was Sergeant Baker of the Howard County Police. I had left a message for an Auxiliary Police Supervisor last week about enforcement of parking restrictions at electric vehicle charging stations in the county. I had been referred to the supervisor by a very nice volunteer Auxiliary officer who happened to be on the scene of a blocked charging station several weeks ago when I arrived to charge my car there. He was responding to a reported parking violation that had been called in by another EV driver.
The Auxiliary officer was unfamiliar with the aspect of the new law in Howard County that prohibits an ICE vehicle from blocking a charging station even on private property if the property owner has posted a sign designating the space for EVs only. He was in contact with someone via radio but for whatever reason, they were not able to find or interpret the law and he ended up leaving a warning and not a citation for the gasoline car.
Before he contacted me, Sgt. Baker had looked at Section 21.207 of the Howard County Code as it pertains to enforcement at charging stations on private property. He agreed that the law is enforceable on private property when there is a sign posted. He said that he will mention this at the next meeting with the Auxiliary officers on February 17th. He said he would also send out an email to all Howard County Police officers about the parking restrictions at electric vehicle charging stations. That is fantastic and I really appreciate the response from the Howard County Police. All of the officers that I’ve talked to about this have been very helpful and pleasant.
As I wrote in an article in the May, 2014 issue of Current EVents, the laws by themselves won’t completely solve the problem of ICEing. Effective signage and proper siting also plays a part in the solution. I do not advocate the promise of more revenue from fines as a reason for a community to enact legislation. If that many tickets are being given, each citation represents a failure to keep the charging station available for its intended use. However, where there is a problem of gas vehicles blocking EV drivers from charging, it reinforces the wrong message, that it is OK to park an ICE vehicle there. Enforcement depends on violations being reported.
I’ve created a new page on pluginsites.org for reference on the local laws in Maryland prohibiting “ICEing” and the non-emergengy phone numbers to call to report violations. Click “LOCAL LAWS” on the main menu.