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New law ends broken-parking-meter confusion

By Josh Richman
Monday, July 9th, 2012 at 3:45 pm in California State Senate, Jerry Brown, Mark DeSaulnier.

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law an East Bay legislator’s bill that would make it a bit harder for cities or counties to ticket you for parking at a broken meter.

SB 1388 by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, lets drivers park for up to the posted time limit in any parking space served by an inoperable parking meter or payment center. Cities and counties can pass ordinances or resolutions to prohibit such parking, but such local laws wouldn’t become effective until those jurisdictions post signs or other markings notifying motorists of the restriction.

Until now, state law didn’t specify whether or not a city or county could cite a vehicle owner for parking at a broken meter; some did, some didn’t. According to a state Senate legislative analysis of DeSaulnier’s bill, a League of California Cities survey found that among cities that did issue such tickets, most would dismiss those tickets unless there’s some sort of pattern of mischief – but a motorist would only discover that if he or she challenged the ticket.

“Motorists should not have to wonder whether it is OK to park in a particular parking space and for how long,” DeSaulnier had said in February when introducing the bill on behalf of California’s American Automobile Association affiliates. “Motorists already think that increased parking enforcement is because of tight municipal budgets. Let’s not make things worse by wrongly ticketing motorists.”

Partisanship? What partisanship? The Assembly passed this bill June 18 on a 79-0 vote, and the state Senate passed it a week later 33-0.

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  • Elwood

    Drivers will now start carrying hammers instead of change.

  • Erik in Kabul

    This is one of those classic “there oughtta be a law” situations. Not surprised that DeSaulnier was the guy who recognized this. Also: I really think this should have been on the “Capricious Commuter” blog.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    A win for the struggling middle classes. No longer will the greedy, selfish 1% be able to crow “Only little people pay meter fees.”