South Australia to fine drivers for blocking electric-car charging spots - SUV VEHICLE

South Australia to fine drivers for blocking electric-car charging spots

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The South Australian government joins other states in cracking down on petrol and diesel car drivers blocking spaces designated for electric vehicle charging – as well as EV drivers parking next to chargers, but not plugging in.

Parking a petrol or diesel car in a space marked for electric-car charging is now illegal in South Australia, with wrongdoers set to get slapped with fines from this week.

The SA Government has become the latest authority to hit petrol and diesel-powered cars parking in spaces dedicated to electric vehicles, following bans being introduced across other states and territories in recent years.

From this week, drivers of petrol or diesel cars face on-the-spot fines of $75 for committing the offence.

It will also apply a penalty to electric cars which park in designated spaces for charging, without plugging in. Interestingly, committing this offence would earn owners a higher fine of $111.

The new laws, which were introduced by the South Australian Government in November last year but came into effect on 1 April 2024, state: ‘A driver must not stop in a parking area for the charging of electric-powered vehicles unless the driver’s vehicle is an electric-powered vehicle; and the electric-powered vehicle is plugged in to an external source of electricity.’

The rule applies to spots which are clearly signposted as an electric vehicle (EV) charging bay, or carry a road marking with an EV charging symbol.

Andrew Howard, Charge Program Director at the Royal Automobile Association (RAA), said the new rule would help free up EV charging bays and address “confusion” for some drivers.

“The majority of drivers now understand the importance of EV charging bays and do the right thing,” Mr Howard said in a media statement.

“But we do see instances where a car is parked in an EV charging bay and is not plugged in and charging – and as a result, these bays appear to be available on charging apps.

“You can imagine for a person who has driven to a car park under the assumption that there is a free charger there, finding a car parked in the bay and not charging is frustrating and an inconvenience.”

Referred to as ‘ICEing’ – with ICE short for internal combustion engine – it has become an issue that state governments have begun clamping down on, handing out fines to discourage the practice.

The parking offence is also illegal in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory – with penalties varying from $369 to $3200.

The ACT has the toughest rules, with drivers facing fines of $3200 for illegally parking in electric vehicle charging bays, followed by Queensland (up to $2875), and NSW (up to $2200).

While Victoria was the first to take action, it had the lowest penalty – at $370 – until South Australia announced its legislation.

Speaking last month, the Australian Electric Vehicle Association’s national president, Chris Jones, said while the penalties for blocking parking spots are high, they are necessary to educate members of the public who may not have considered the repercussions.

“No one would like it if I parked my vehicle in front of a fuel bowser and walked inside and ordered lunch,” he said.

The post South Australia to fine drivers for blocking electric-car charging spots appeared first on Drive.

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