Few states have laws against “ICEing” an electric vehicle charging spot. Thanks to a call from an angry EV driver to his state representative, Illinois may soon fine and tow those who block charging stations with vehicles that can’t use them. The Illinois General Assembly has just passed HB-0198 which:
Prohibits the parking of non-electric vehicles in charging station spaces designated for electric vehicles. Allows any person or local authority owning or operating a parking facility to remove or cause to be removed any non-electric vehicle parked within a charging station space designated for use by an electric vehicle. Imposes a minimum fine of $75 on a person parking a non-electric vehicle in a space designated for electric vehicles. Requires municipalities to display signs indicating the fine imposed for a violation.
Illinois State Rep. Robyn Gabel told Chicago Channel 7 News reporter Roz Varon, “A constituent called our office and was very upset. He said he went to park his electric vehicle in Northbrook in a parking lot where they had a charging station and there were non-electric vehicles parked in the spot. We did some research and we found that, in reality, no, most places do not have a fine for parking non-electric vehicles in electric parking spots. So we developed some legislation and passed it, both in the House and the Senate and it is now on the governor’s desk.”
If the governor signs the bill, it means that after January 1, 2016, any non-electric vehicle that is blocking a designated charging station can be towed and the owner fined $75 to $100. The penalty will apply on private parking areas open to the public and the charging spot need only be designated so that, “…a reasonable person would be made aware by the sign or notice on or near the parking space that the space is reserved for electric vehicles.” Full text of HB0198. [PDF]
Rep. Gabel explained, “It’s important to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint. If people have electric cars, we want to encourage them to have electric cars and be able to recharge their car wherever they need to recharge it.”
An important part of this story, not to be overlooked, is that a single citizen got the ball rolling with one well-placed phone call. A single person CAN make a difference. Next time you are ICEd, don’t just get angry, call your elected representatives and ask for legislation.