The State of Nevada has rolled the dice again and is now requiring that local governments (cities) provide a program to allow alternative fuel vehicles. To wit:
Section 7 provides that the owner or long-term lessee of such a vehicle may: (1) apply to the local authority for a distinctive decal, label or other identifier that distinguishes the vehicle from other vehicles; and (2) while displaying the distinctive identifier, park the vehicle without the payment of a parking fee at certain times in certain public parking lots, parking areas and metered parking zones
It goes on:
Qualified alternative fuel” means compressed natural gas, hydrogen or propane.Sec. 6. “Qualified alternative fuel vehicle” means a motor vehicle that: 1. Is equipped with four wheels; 2. Is made by: (a) An original equipment manufacturer; or (b) A qualified vehicle modifier of alternative fuel vehicles; 3. Is manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads and highways; 4. Has a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 pounds; 5. Can maintain a maximum rate of speed of at least 70 miles per hour; and 6. Is propelled: (a) To a significant extent by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery that: (1) Has a capacity of not less than 4 kilowatt hours; and (2) Can be recharged from a source of electricity that is external to the vehicle; or (b) Solely by a qualified alternative fuel, and meets or exceeds the federal Tier 2 bin 2 exhaust emission standard, as set forth in 40 C.F.R. § 86.1811-04.
Let’s see if I have this right. The state of Nevada is requiring local cities to set up a program of identifying “alternative fuel vehicles” and then issuing, at its expense, I assume, a decal. Then when the PEOs see a decal they are supposed to ignore the fact that no money was placed in the meter. So far so good.
I have questions. First what is to keep this from becoming a problem like the disabled program, where counterfeit decals are sold on the black market and it is assumed that better than half of the permits in use are fraudulent?
Second, just how are the mangers of parking enforcement supposed to supervise this little rule. Let’s assume a PEO begins to write a ticket for a Belchfire 12 and the owner, who knows its a $50 citation, says he will drop a $20 on the ground if the officer looks the other way? Hey, there was a decal on that car and I didn’t notice it until the owner pointed it out.
Third, Why is parking enforcement in the business of supporting private industry? Shouldn’t people buy electric cars because they are good for them, and not because the government has enticed them with free passes in parking (and on the carpool lane).
Fourth – As rta mentions below, wouldn’t an aggressive carpool program do much more for the environment (not to mention traffic congestion) than enticing everyone to drive “alternative” fuel vehicles. Ah, do I see the Law of Unintended Consequences beginning to kick in.
It goes on and on. The state is telling Brandy (Stanley, head of parking in Las Vegas) how to run her operation, and more importantly, telling her city council that they must institute a program that will make the lives of the parking staff miserable, possibly enrage non-alternative fuel drivers, and cut substantially into their revenue.
Brandy notes that in Nevada they don’t even have handicapped free parking as in many other states but this is the foot in the door.
The state governments (and many cities) are passing these laws and mark my words, it won’t be long until they ‘require’ private lots to offer the same ‘free’ parking, and reserved spaces up front. Hmmm What happens to all the casinos on the Strip in Las Vegas who now offer free parking to everyone. Will they be required to charge for parking and then give free spaces to AFVs?
You think that’s crazy. Guess again.
Be afraid, be very afraid.