Southern California breaking news and trends

New bill could stop cities from ticketing at broken meters

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Getty Images

KPCC's Alice Walton reports  that State Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a bill that would curb the city of Los Angeles from ticketing drivers who park at broken parking meters.

On Jan. 1, a new California state law went into effect that allows drivers to safely park at broken meters, however local municipalities are permitted to override the policy.

Bill AB 61 would "close that loophole" and protect against "overzealous" parking enforcement practices, according to a news release from Gatto's office.

“It is the responsibility of local governments to maintain their meters and keep them in good working order,” said Gatto.  “The people should not have to pay for the government’s mistakes or inefficiencies, especially when the people already paid to install and maintain the meters in the first place.”

The bill, AB 61, would prohibit local governments, such as cities and counties, from enacting an ordinance that bans parking in a space controlled by a broken meter or broken kiosk for on-street parking.

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Time running out to park at broken meters in Los Angeles

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Corey Moore/KPCC

The luxury of parking at a broken parking meter is about to be a thing of the past in the city of Los Angeles.

If Angelenos think they’ve gotten lucky by pulling up to a broken parking meter, they better think again because the practice is about to become a thing of the past. 

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has long had a policy that drivers could park at broken, coin-operated meters as long as they followed the posted time limits. Two years ago, LADOT officials began installing high-tech parking meters that warned drivers they could not park in the spot if the meter was inoperable.

A new state law, SB 1388, allows drivers to park at broken meters – unless their local municipality opts out of the law. In Los Angeles, transportation officials plan to ask the city council to approve an ordinance that will prohibit anyone from parking at a broken parking meter. The new state law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013. 

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A lucky parking meter is something you will never find again in Santa Monica

santa monica parking

Roger Wollstadt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Parking in Santa Monica, previously.

The days of fortuitous parking have met an untimely fate by the sea.

Monday began the reign of the 'smart' parking meter in Santa Monica with the debut of more than 6,000 high-tech timers that take their cue from ground sensors. As soon as a car leaves, the device mercilessly resets, wiping out the remaining time that would have previously been gifted to the next soul in the space.

Also, the new sensors -- which are solar-powered and able to take payments by credit card, phone and coins -- will keep cars from staying put. Drivers "will no longer be able to run back and feed the meter to keep their cars parked over the allotted initial time limit," notes the L.A. Times

What the new meters taketh, however, they may returneth in some capacity by alerting parkers via text message when the apparatus is close to expiring. Of course, this means sharing a phone number with the robots, and without getting too conspiracal (not a real word), that potentially opens a door to possible privacy concerns. 

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