LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to uphold a two-year policy making it illegal to park at broken meters.
“It’s pretty simple: when you park at a parking meter you have to pay for your space,” said Dan Mitchell, a senior transportation engineer for the city.
Drivers had been allowed to park at broken meters for free up to the maximum time allowed for the space, according to California law.
KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports after a 12-1 vote, the city of Los Angeles will now be able to override the state law.
City transportation officials warned it could cost the city up to $5 million a year if the policy was not upheld. The city used to lose that money because around 10 percent of drivers would break meters so they could park for free.
If the meter does not take change, drivers have to find a working one or risk being issued a $58 ticket.
City officials must post warnings on meters saying tickets can be issued when drivers park at broken devices.
Even after the City Council vote, some drivers said they avoid broken meters regardless of any new policy.
“I honestly don’t know,” said one man. “Every time I see one, I just try to found another spot ’cause I have no idea…what the law is.”
Many other drivers said they don’t feel like they should have to pay to part at a broken meter.
“If the meter isn’t working that’s their problem, not mine, and I should be able to park there,” one woman said.
Another woman said, “I think that’s a bad idea because parking’s tight anyway and we can’t help it if it’s broken.”