Knoxville Police Take Action by Enforcing and Ticketing Violators of Electric Vehicle Only Parking Ordinance


Don't ICE and Electric Vehicle or You'll Likely be Ticketed

Don’t ICE and Electric Vehicle or You’ll Likely be Ticketed

The term ICE’d is rather well known among electric vehicle aficionados, but if its meaning is foreign to you, then here’s a brief definition: ICE’ing is when an internal combustion engined vehicle parks in a spot designated as electric vehicles only.

EVs Only

EVs Only

Most owners of electric vehicles don’t appreciate being ICE’d and some have even shown their discontent by placing “courtesy” notices on the ICE vehicle, but that probably won’t be necessary in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The law is on our side.

Jake Tisinger, Project Manager for the City of Knoxville’s Office of Sustainability, states that city-wide ordinance was passed in December in an effort to ensure that the city’s 24 public charging stations are available for electric vehicle owners.  Tisinger stated:

“The ordinance allows the city to ticket or tow any non-electrical vehicle that’s parked in these spaces or actually if there’s an electrical vehicle that’s parked in it but not plugged in, they could be towed or ticketed as well.”

Lots of cities have similar ordinances, but rarely are they ever enforced.  Knoxville may be an exception though.

On Monday, city workers posted warning signs in front of electric vehicle only parking spots.  These signs warn of the tow-away and ticketing penalties.

Knoxville officials now say that with proper signage in place, the Knoxville Police Department will enforce the ordinance.

Our hope is that all cities take a similar approach to electric vehicle parking and that enforcement is always part of the action plan.  Maybe then being ICE’d will folklore.

via WBIR

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12 Comments on "Knoxville Police Take Action by Enforcing and Ticketing Violators of Electric Vehicle Only Parking Ordinance"

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This is great!

I’ve seen people talk about experiments where they placed an extra sign saying there was a fine or towing enforced, even when no such fine or enforce ability existed. The sign itself immediately corrected the issue. People won’t take the risk.

It appears that the wording of this law opens up the possibility for significant shenanigans. An Electric car, parked in an EV spot but not charging, can be ticketed. What stops a vandal from simply unplugging the car, leaving the owner open for ticketing? Here in Southern California a etiquette of plug sharing has been established where it is OK to park next to an EV spot, and unplug the currently charging car to plug yourself in, provided that car is fully charged. Do that in TN, and the first car can be ticketed.
Lord knows we need enforcement of the EV only parking spaces – but it’s hard to do without also punishing legitimate users.

You have provided some excellent examples of how this law (as written) is flawed. And these flaws will only get worse as EV adoption increases. This law does not scale well and relies on an incorrect assumption that people will behave in an ideal way.

80 Year Old Solution: Parking meters. Five minutes per quarter … problem solved.

Nope. Fat SUV drivers will plunk in $10 worth of quarters just to park closer to the door. Ever notice how many “laps” of the parking lot someone will take looking for a closer spot DIRECTLY corresponds to their weight?

It might be an interesting thing to have EV drivers have a “park-in” on a Saturday where they all park in front of gas pumps, blocking ICE drivers from filling up their vehicles. If nothing else, it would increase awareness of charging stations and why NOT to park an ICE in front of one.

LOL … you sound like an EV supremacist.

Maybe you should all dress in green hoods and burn a giant cross on the lawn of that fat guy? Then he won’t park in YOUR spots! 😉

“Five minutes per quarter” … so $3/hour, no way. And what if all the other spots are free? That means EV’s have to pay to park while they are charging? Why don’t they put parking meters on handicap spots then to prevent those from getting used instead of enforcing laws? Or how about meters at the “To Go” spots at restaurants.

No, I don’t think meters is the answer. Just enforce the spot, like all other spots are enforced.

If they want to check if someone unplugged the cord, that’s info that could be displayed on the charger screen. If there is an EV parked next to one that was charging and the cord is moved, I would hope the officer has enough common sense to realize the plug was moved.

You’re comparing EV owners to the handicapped? Seriously?

I imagine some Leaf owners will be pretty pissed when they find themselves stranded because the chargers are all in use by Volt and Tesla owners who decided to top-off their batteries.

Regarding enforcement … for the first time in history, said enforcement will require the officer to know the inner workings of your vehicle. Good luck with that.

I’m comparing parking spots dedicated to specific things, and how they are enforced.

If it actually becomes a problem, where the officer cannot tell if a car is an EV, the DMV could issue a “Plug In” decal for your plate or something to hang from your rear-view mirror similar to a handicapped sign, or HOV lane sticker.

If all the spots are used up, that is a good sign. It means EV’s are finally becoming popular and we need more EV chargers. Chargepoint let’s you see if a charger is in use, and lets you reserve it (at some locations).

Finally, if I was a Leaf driver, I would never leave home/wherever with the hopes of just making it to that one public charger, and also hoping its not being used, otherwise I will be stranded. These chargers are more for convenience charging (say you go shopping or to a movie). Dedicated chargers for long duration parking should be installed by employers, apartment complexes, parking garages with possibly assigned spots, etc.

If these charge points are really for convenience charging, then I see your point. I however thought their primary purpose was to make electric cars more viable by reducing EV range anxiety. That will happen when electricity is as reliably available as gasoline. That reliable access is what I would want most as an EV owner … access to electricity when I NEED it. I’ll happily convenience charge in my garage.

Good discussion … thanks.

Lots of gray-area as implemented. For example…

What about an EV this is plugged in but fully charged? Do they get a ticket? Seems like they should, since they don’t need the EV spots. Can the police even determine the state of charge?

Should the police ticket a charging Chevy Volt or PIP that could run fine on gasoline instead? Seems like they should, since those vehicles don’t need the EV spots either.

Are police expected to know how every vehicle works? That’s easy enough today, but soon it will be hard. The number of ICEV/EV design variations is increasing rapidly.

IMHO, a simple parking-meter would eliminate all of the above issues.

Nope, for the reasons I outlined above.

I know this well. The City of Raleigh has had a fine for parking in EV charging spots since last year. When I called the parking enforcement regarding a repeat offender, the cop who showed up never heard of the law. ICEing still occurs at charging stations on public streets. The parking garages, though, have been cleared up of ICEing.