New South Australian laws clamp down on EV charging bay misuse with hefty fines

South Australia drivers beware! New laws have commenced this week imposing fines of up to $111 for any vehicle incorrectly parked in an EV charging bay. The move aims to reduce misuse and ensure availability for electric vehicle users.

Starting this week, drivers in South Australia will have to abide by new laws in relation to parking in electric vehicle (EV) charging bays. The laws stipulate that those who park their vehicle in an EV charging bay – for any reason other than to charge an electric vehicle – could receive a fine of up to $111.

These laws were introduced by the South Australian government and officially registered in November of the previous year. They constitute that ‘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 into an external source of electricity.’ These regulations apply to charging bays that are clearly identifiable as an EV charging bay, either through distinct signage or a road marking which features an electric vehicle charging symbol.

RAA Charge Program Director Andrew Howard stated that the new rule would aid in keeping EV charging bays available and would help mitigate any confusion that drivers may have.

“The majority of drivers now understand the importance of EV charging bays and do the right thing,” he said.

“There are 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.”

Mr Howard further shed light on the inconvenience this can cause for people who require the charging service. “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,” he said.

Mr Howard believes these legal changes mark an important step for SA as more people opt for electric vehicles. He hopes that a uniform approach might help to educate all drivers and serve as a reminder to abide by the rules of good parking etiquette. He explicitly stated that this applies to EV drivers too.

While these new statutory rules came into effect from 1 April, Mr Howard anticipates that it will take some time for Councils to erect the necessary signage and commence issuing any fines. As the state’s largest EV charging network operator, the RAA has committed to working alongside the government and Councils to ensure all public EV charging bays have the appropriate signage, in corresponding with their yellow EV charging bay road marking.

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