7 on the Streets: Electric car parking tickets

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Thursday, July 23, 2015
7 on the Streets: Electric car parking tickets
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There's a push for a new type of parking ticket, to deter non-electric vehicles from parking in spots designated for electric cars.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 is on the streets answering your traffic questions! Roz Varon found out there's a push for a new type of parking ticket.

Kymberlee Ricke asked, "With more parking lots coming up with 'low emission' and 'car pool' only parking spots, are these enforceable the same way a marked handicapped parking spot is?"

Roz went to the secretary of state's office for the answer.

"They are not enforceable at this point by state authorization. Only the disability parking has that level," said David Druker, Illinois Secretary Of State Press Secretary.

Those fines are steep. It'll cost you $250 for parking in a disability spot without the appropriate placard or license plate.

Last year, new regulations went into effect, to cut down drivers illegally using disability parking. With new technology, a new parking issue has come up.

"A constituent called our office said he was very upset. He went to park his electric vehicle in Northbrook in a parking lot that had a charging station and there were non-electric vehicles parked in the spot. We did some research and found, 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 House and Senate and it is now on the governor's desk," said Rep. Robyn Gabel, (D) Evanston.

If this bill becomes law, any non-electric vehicle parked in an electric vehicle spot can be towed and the owner fined $75 to $100.

"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," Gabel said.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 822 public charging outlets in the state of Illinois. Several hundred are in the Chicago metro area.

If Governor Bruce Rauner signs the electric parking bill, it will most likely go into effect Jan. 1.

Hybrid vehicles that run on gas or electric would only qualify to park in the electric parking spots if they have a plug, like the Chevy Volt. A Toyota Prius without a plug would get a ticket.