New LA Councilman Joins Fight Against Ticketing at Broken Parking Meters

| by Amanda Schallert
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A new Los Angeles Councilman is pushing for Los Angeles drivers to be able to park at broken meters without fear of being ticketed.

Mike Bonin, councilman and transportation committee chairman, called for the city to change its laws concerning parking at broken meters in his first motion as councilman on Tuesday, according to the Huffington Post.

The Los Angeles City Council voted to allow ticketing at broken parking meters in 2010. The council approved the measure again in 2012 to trump a new California-wide law that would allow drivers to park at broken meters for free starting in January, according to the New York Times.

Los Angeles officials chose to keep city drivers paying tickets because the penalty fees earn the city an estimated $5 million per year. 

Transportation officials also said new technology allows city technicians to respond to broken meters more rapidly, rendering the problem of broken meters less significant than in the past.

But Bonin said the public did not approve of the measure.

"Motorists and small business owners felt they were being punished because a meter was broken," Bonin wrote in his motion. "They felt like the City was working against them, instead of for them."

Other Los Angeles area leaders are also fighting the parking meter law.

Burbank assemblyman Mike Gatto proposed a bill that would prevent cities from ticketing at broken meters, to override the Los Angeles law.

“The simple fact is that if a city or county failed to repair a broken meter, or something happened like the power was cut, it was not the motorist’s fault,” Gatto said. 

Sources: Huffington Post, LA Times