New Colorado Law Aims to Ticket Drivers Illegally Parked in Electric Car Spots

Park your car in front of a fast charger without using it and you may find a ticket for $150 on your windshield.

reddit user Leicina

A bill is progressing through Colorado state legislature that would allow the ticketing of drivers who park in front of electric vehicle fast chargers without using them.

House Bill 1298, which succeeded in passing the Colorado House of Representatives and is now in the Colorado Senate, will impose a $150 fine on drivers that occupy a charging space and are not using the charger. This extends not only to combustion-powered vehicles but also to plug-in hybrids and EVs themselves, provided the vehicle has been parked there for more than a half hour without charging.

This bill isn't an all-encompassing measure; accommodations would be made for situations in which the driver will be unable to move their vehicle when it has completed charging. EVs parked at chargers on the premises of hotels—if the driver is a customer of said hotel—are exempt, as are cars parked by travelers at the airport.

Should the bill pass, vehicles found in violation will be ticketed $150, plus a $32 surcharge. Proponents of the measure sought to copy a similar, harsher Arizona ordinance that would bill charging station squatters $350, though they compromised with lawmakers on the $150 penalty.

Reception to the bill has been mixed. EV owners praise it for offering a solution to charge stall-squatting, both benevolent and malevolent, and have likened the practice to parking in handicap spaces. Others have argued that penalties are unnecessary due to the rarity of seeing non-EVs in front of chargers.

"This is a solution looking for a problem," said the CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, Tim Jackson, as quoted by The Colorado Sun. "Non-electric cars parked in electric charging stations are rare and didn't need protection from hundreds of dollars in fines or tow-aways to solve."