New Bill Bans Tickets for Parking at Broken Parking Meters

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SACRAMENTO–

You know the look.

You may have even spotted it happening from across the street as you tried to duck out of a meeting and scramble for change.

Too late; you’ve got a ticket.

But, as of January 2014, that can’t happen to you any more in the state of California if the only spot you could find happened to be next to a broken parking meter or pay kiosk.

“That seems fair,” said driver Connie Humphrey.

“If it’s broken I think you should be able to park there given the time limit … One hour. Two hour, whatever it is,” said driver Jen Anderson as she challenged the fairness of the old system.

Now her wish is state law, thanks to Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Governor Jerry Brown’s signature on AB-61.

The fairness issue of penalizing drivers who pay for meters, meter repair and even for the salaries of those who hand out tickets – when meters are broken – was just too much for Gatto, a Los Angeles Democrat.

“Studies showed in Los Angeles 20 percent of the meters were malfunctioning at any given time,” he said.

Gatto’s own city, along with San Francisco and Sacramento, fought the bill he introduced back in January, saying it would disrupt a vital stream of revenue.

Gatto maintained it all amounted to a fleecing of motorists.

“Now they have a pretty clear statement by the legislature and the governor of California that this type of practice is unacceptable,” he said.

The assemblyman also says this new law is critical to business owners near broken meters.

They may have been losing out on sales because frustrated drivers were passing  them up and shopping elsewhere for fear of a ticket.

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