Legislation was introduced that would prohibit parking or stopping in parking spaces specifically designated for plug-in electric cars, if the car is not electric. The bill included provisions that could have prohibited local governments from enforcing the intended violation.
MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee on February 15, 2018 on House Bill 598, “Vehicle Laws – Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicles – Reserved Parking Spaces.” After working with the bill sponsor, counties’ concerns were alleviated through sponsor amendments.
MACo expressed concerns about the use of green paint in these spots because it is not consistent with federal law. Another concern is the provision that would force local jurisdictions into compliance with laws affecting private parking operators towing procedures.
The bill sponsor agreed to offer amendments addressing MACo’s concerns prior to the hearing, allowing MACo to drop its opposition.
From MACo Testimony:
MACo does not contest the effort to make this violation a statewide offense. In fact, many counties already enforce this under local laws. However, terms of the bill requiring local governments to comply with towing provisions applicable to private parking lot owners under Subtitle 10A of Maryland Vehicle Law, Title 21, have the unintended consequence of prohibiting local governments from being able to enforce the terms of this bill in many cases.
Additionally, using green paint markings violates the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), adopted into Federal law under 23 C.F.R 665 and adapted into the Maryland MUTCD pursuant to Maryland Code, Transportation Article, Section 25-104. MUTCD, Section 3A.05 states, “Markings shall be yellow, white, red, blue, or purple.”
MACo respectfully requests that the Committee adopt amendments offered by the sponsor addressing these issues.”
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.