LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A state lawmaker from Burbank wants to prevent motorists from being ticketed when they park at broken parking meters.
Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-43) introduced legislation Monday that would allow Angelenos and drivers throughout California to park for free at broken or malfunctioning parking meters for the maximum time allowed by the meter.
Assembly Bill 61 would prohibit local governments from enacting any ordinance – not unlike the one passed in December by the Los Angeles City Council – that bans parking in a space controlled by a broken meter or broken kiosk for on-street parking.
Gatto told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that if passed, the legislation would supersede any law enacted by Los Angeles or any other California city.
“Depending on by how many votes it passes by, we could possibly put an urgency clause in it that would make it take effect this summer,” Gatto said.
California legislators unanimously passed Senate Bill 1388 last July, which authorized parking at an inoperable parking meter for up to the posted time limit if no ordinance or resolution had been adopted to prohibit it.
But the bill’s language allowed for the L.A. City Council to pass an ordinance to uphold the city’s policy of ticketing drivers who park in spaces with broken parking meters.
Gatto, who serves as the Chairman of the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee, said he introduced the measure to protect taxpayers from shelling out even more of their hard-earned money.
“I’m just one of…probably millions in Southern California who just think it’s wrong for the city to ticket people who park at a meter that the city has failed to fix,” he said. “I just don’t think the people should have to pay for the government’s mistakes or inefficiencies, especially when the taxpayer’s already paid to install and maintain the meters in the first place.”
Gatto said he expects the bill to be heard in committee in the next couple months.