State lawmakers approve bill banning Calif. cities from ticketing at broken meters

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Corey Moore/KPCC

AB-61 will prohibit cities from ticketing motorist who park at broken parking meters.

State lawmakers today approved legislation that will end what some consider to be unfair parking tickets.

The bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) would prohibit cities across California from ticketing motorists who park at meters that the city failed to fix.

“Any motorist who got a ticket for parking at a broken meter would be able to fight it. Any city who started issuing such tickets would be violating state law, “said Gatto.

California already had laws on the books from 1935 to 2012 allowing motorists to park in spaces controlled by a broken meter for the maximum time of the meter. But then a few cities began passing ordinances to reverse it.

"Like so many people out there, I was outraged when the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting people from parking at broken meters,” said Gatto.  “And the ordinance would result in people driving around aimlessly when perfectly good parking is available  —or being forced to pay exorbitant amounts of parking in the expensive lots. "

The bill now heads to Governor Brown's desk for signature. If he signs the legislation, it would take effect January 1st, 2014.

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