Kitchener-Waterloo

New fine $125 for parking fossil fuel vehicle in electric car spot

Drivers who park gas or diesel vehicles in spots meant for electric cars could now receive a $125 fine, after a private member's bill was passed Thursday. The bill's co-sponsor was Guelph MPP and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, marking the first time a bill from a Green MPP has become law.

First time private member’s bill by Green Party has become law

Drivers of gas vehicles who park in spots meant for electric vehicles, or electric vehicles that don't hook up to the charging station, could be fined $125 under changes made to Ontario's Highway Traffic Act. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Ontario drivers who park petroleum-powered vehicles in spots designated for electric cars may soon be fined $125. The same penalty will apply to drivers of electric vehicles that park at a charging station but aren't using it. 

This change to the Highway Traffic Act marks the first time a private member's bill by a Green Party member has become law in Ontario. The bill was brought forward by government House Leader MPP Paul Calandra for first reading on June 4, and moved forward by Whitby Progressive Conservative MPP Lorne Coe, co-sponsored by Guelph MPP and Green leader, Mike Schreiner.

The change to the act says vehicles in designated spots must be electric and attached to the station's charging equipment, or could be ticketed.

'Historic day'

"I'm honoured that it is such a historic day," Schreiner said of the bill, which passed third reading Thursday morning and was expected to be signed into law later in the day.

Schreiner said he learned people parking in electric vehicle spots is "a major issue" across the province from people in Guelph as well as when he spoke with the president of the Electric Vehicle Society.

He says it's frustrating for electric vehicle drivers who know there are limited charging spots available to arrive at a parking spot and discover someone who doesn't need it has parked there.

Schreiner says next, he plans to pressure the Progressive Conservatives to invest in more electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the province and roll out incentives for businesses that install car charging spots.

"Having policies in place to put more chargers in government-owned parking lots so that way, as more and more people move to electric vehicles, they have the confidence that they'll be able to charge those vehicles and get on with their travels," Schreiner said.

The change to the Highway Traffic Act goes into effect immediately.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.