Soon enough, broken meters will no longer be the bane of frustrated drivers looking for parking.
On Monday, Jan. 1, a new state law will go into effect that will allow motorists to park at inoperable meters without being ticketed – which proponents say protects drivers from unfair fines and will help businesses.
And a law that opponents say strips cities of autonomy.
“The practice of unfairly exacting fines on residents stops with this measure,” said Assemblywom an Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, who authored the bill.
Added Seal Beach Councilwoman Sandra Massa Levitt, “It’s not the fault of the motorist if the meter is broken.”
The new law, which passed the state Assembly, 77-0, and the California Senate, 37-0, restores rules that prohibit the citing of those parked in front of broken meters.
How to handle broken meters had been a topic of conversation in California for years, particularly in heavy-congestion cities such as Los Angeles and Orange County’s beach towns.
So in 2012, the state Legislature passed a law permitting drivers to park at broken meters, but it also allowed cities to step in and pass their own rules.
Newport Beach, for example, passed a law banning people from parking at broken meters.
In Los Angeles, drivers were not allowed to park at spaces with broken meters, either, and when they did citations were issued – totaling $165 million in 2014 alone, according to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
So in 2014, the state amended the law, banning cities from enacting and enforcing prohibitions. But that law lapsed on Jan. 1, 2017, so the new one was needed, and it does not expire.
“This common-sense bill provides incentives for the repair of these inoperable meters and kiosks,” Rubio said, “rather than allowing the much-needed parking spots to be banned in highly congested areas.”
The new law allows:
- Drivers to park at broken meters; if there is a posted time limit, they must move before then.
- Cities to set time…