California Law Lets Drivers Park at Broken Meters

Los Angeles recently reversed its policy of ticketing drivers parked at busted meters

By Keith Esparros
|  Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013  |  Updated 12:10 PM PDT
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A 2010 report by the NBC4 I-Team revealed the City of Los Angeles was handing out more than 17,000 tickets per year at meters that were reported to the city as broken. Since the investigation, Assemblyman Mike Gatto drafted a bill that makes it illegal for any city in the state to ticket someone at a broken meter. Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed that bill. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on August 12, 2013.

Joel Grover

A 2010 report by the NBC4 I-Team revealed the City of Los Angeles was handing out more than 17,000 tickets per year at meters that were reported to the city as broken. Since the investigation, Assemblyman Mike Gatto drafted a bill that makes it illegal for any city in the state to ticket someone at a broken meter. Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed that bill. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on August 12, 2013.

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It might just get a little easier to find a parking spot in California.

Gov. Jerry Brown Monday signed into law a bill that would make it illegal to ticket drivers parked at broken meters.

An NBC4 investigation in 2010 showed the city of Los Angeles had written more than 17,000 tickets to drivers parked at malfunctioning meters. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D- Burbank) cited the NBC4 investigation as the inspiration for his bill.

In a statement, Gatto said taxpayers already foot the bill for the maintenance of the parking meters.

"Local governments should take responsibility and keep parking meters in good working order, not squeeze a double-penalty out of cash-strapped citizens."

Los Angeles City Councilmembers acknowledged tickets from broken meters brought in millions of dollars in revenue, but they also argued the ticketing was a way to keep meter vandalism in check.

Led by newly elected councilman Mike Bonin, the city reversed its position on July 31, voting to allow parking at damaged meters, for a period of six months.

The Gatto bill extends that time indefinitely, and would also apply statewide. Read the text for AB61

Drivers should still be wary of other parking restrictions, like time limits or street cleaning notifications. If drivers violate those, they might still find a ticket on their windshields, whether they're parked at a busted meter or not.

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