What are the risks of parking in front of charging stations without a plug?
However, it is common sense not to park in front of a charging station without using it. Nevertheless, some motorists do not seem to have internalized the thing yet.
Imagine that you only have 5 or 10% battery left and you are looking for a terminal to be able to charge your vehicle. You start an application (or your car’s GPS) that shows you nearby terminals. Fortunately, the bollard is functional except that another vehicle inappropriately occupies the space in front without using the bollard.
Behind this little fiction is the common experience of many electric car drivers who use public terminals occasionally or regularly. However, this is a situation that does not occur in front of a gas pump. While charging stations are still often short of supply, it is not uncommon for EV owners to express anger at vehicles improperly parked in front of the stations. What does the Road Traffic Act say about this?
From ticket to confiscation for awkward parking
No offense to those who regard the spaces in front of the terminals as normal parking spaces, the StVO does not say so.
Road traffic regulations evolve with use, and according to the saying ” Nobody should ignore the law ‘, you must consider the changes to these. Inevitably, it’s not always easy for people who got their driver’s license a long time ago to keep up to date with changes to the highway code. However, when it comes to charging stations and parking, it is often more of a matter of bad faith than genuine ignorance of the rules.
For those who are aware, Article R417-10 of the Highway Code covers the issue of dedicated charging stations well: “ Parking a vehicle is also considered an obstruction to public transport […] In front of devices intended for charging electric vehicles “.
The consequences of such inconvenient parking, according to the same article of the Highway Code, are as follows: Any awkward stopping or parking provided for in this article will be penalized with the fine provided for second class fines. If the driver or keeper of the vehicle is absent or refuses to put an end to the cumbersome parking despite the order of the officer, the closure and confiscation can be ordered. »
Improper parking in front of a charging station is subject to a 2nd class fine, i.e. a flat-rate fine of €35 (reduced to €22 and increased to €75), which can reach €150 in the event of a repeat offense. It’s the same penalty as if you parked at a delivery location, for example.
Tickets and confiscations remain rare. However, they could multiply quickly as cities realize the financial manna this can represent in the public sphere. It should be noted that the Article of the Highway Code also applies to charging stations located in publicly accessible private parking lots, for example in commercial areas. The steps can be longer, but a troublesome vehicle can easily be removed there with a pound.
Unplugged electric vehicles are also affected
If the inconveniences regularly come from thermal vehicles, we can observe that some electric vehicles also use spaces in front of the terminals without plugging in to start a charging session.
Their owners are just as punishable as those of thermal vehicles. Beyond the penalties of the Highway Code, it is totally incomprehensible that the use of these places is an acquired advantage for electric vehicle drivers, making it easier for them to find parking and forget about those who may have a vital need to recharge. These spaces are not spaces reserved for electric vehicles, but rather spaces reserved for charging an electrified vehicle.