Politics, government and public life for Southern California

State takes away cities' power to ticket at broken parking meters

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Corey Moore/KPCC

A state bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday will prevent local municipalities from ticketing at broken parking meters.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will prevent local municipalities from ticketing drivers who park at broken meters. The new law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The Los Angeles City Council recently reversed its own policy allowing ticketing at broken meters, making  plans to revisit the issue in six months.  There are concerns that that acts of vandalism and intentional jamming of parking meters might increase if broken meters aren't ticketed.  The passage of AB 61 means the city cannot return to penalizing drivers at inoperable meters, even after assessing rates of vandalism.  

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who authored the state bill, and Councilman Mike Bonin, who pushed the policy at the city level, each took credit for the new rules  -- though under the previous policy, the L.A. Department of Transportation issued just one ticket at a broken meter this year. 

"The question of parking at a broken meter should not be up for review or reconsideration every six months, nor should motorists be subject to confusing ordinances as they drive from city to city.  It’s time to end this unfair practice throughout California," Gatto said. 

As for Bonin, "It is always a good thing when L.A. and Sacramento race toward common sense, and I am very happy that in this case, L.A. won - especially since the council action from a few weeks ago took effect immediately."


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