New fine $125 for parking fossil fuel vehicle in electric car spot
First time private member’s bill by Green Party has become law
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.
"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.