Bill Allows Parking at Broken Meters Starting Jan. 1

Gov. Jerry Brown signs Senate Bill 1388 into law. The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, makes it OK to park at a broken meter.

Beginning Jan. 1, drivers across California will be able to park at broken parking meters without receiving a ticket, thanks to a new state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

Senate Bill 1388, authored by State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), prohibits law enforcement agencies from issuing parking tickets to vehicles parked in a space with a broken meter, as long as the time the car is parked doesn't exceed the maximum limit, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Local governments that pass ordinances restricting parking at broken meters must post signs giving motorists adequate notice of the restriction in parking lots, at single-space meters and at multispace meters or parking payment centers.

According to the Auto Club, the bill will clear up confusion regarding the rules of parking at broken meters.

“We’re pleased that the new law will help resolve an issue that can be especially frustrating to drivers in urban areas with limited parking spaces,” said Steve Finnegan, the Auto Club’s government affairs manager. “Drivers will now know the rules and will be able to park at broken meters without fear of being ticketed as long as they comply with posted regulations and parking time limits.”

Additionally, SB 1388 requires cities and other local authorities to pass an ordinance to establish parking meter zones or set fees.

The new law also addresses the prevalence of smartphones. Though local authorities may accept payments via a mobile device, it cannot require people pay that way, according to SB 1388.

Jerome Cleary July 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
this is great except for the parking ticket I got on Sunset Blvd. one night in January 2012 near La Cienega Blvd. where Officer Santana from Parking Enforcement for the City of West Hollywood issued me a parking ticket saying that the "meter was expired" which really it was an "out of order meter" which had both flashing red and flashing green lights and I took a cell phone photo and emailed it to city hall but city hall still wanted me to go through their "process" to contest. I was supposed to contest a ticket written in fraud by this parking enforcement officer when the meter was obviously out of order and this continues to go on and on and on punishing visitors and residents. Puh-leeze!!!
Insider July 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Being a "progressive city," West Hollywood could enact this law early.
Jerome Cleary July 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I would hope so but I'm sure they would find some technical reasoning to differ from a "broken meter" as a opposed to an "out of order" meter. If parking enforcement officers are like Officer Santana they will write a ticket stating on the ticket that the meter was "expired" ensuring more work for the resident or visitor instead of the parking enforcement officer being truthful and honest.
Todd Bianco July 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Jerome voiced my exact concern. Parking Enforcement is highly aggressive, primarily because they are employed by a for-profit independent contractor who pushes for an ever-increasing number of citations. If you don't have the presence of mind to take a picture of the defective meter, clearly showing the machine was not working properly, including the location, time of day and your car parked in that spot, your "word" that the meter wasn't working won't be enough to get you out of an expensive ticket. It comes down to your word against the parking officer and I bet they win in the vast majority of the cases. The City could help by giving written instructions to the contractor (Serco) not to do it and that it would penalize the contractor if it gets complaints from residents that state laws aren't being followed. But don't hold your breath for that.
me July 12, 2012 at 04:42 PM
i wish they'd spend more time ticketing cars without permits in the evening/overnight than meter tickets (especially in club zones)....one parking enforcement guy told they only have 3 staff out at night for the whole city....crazy!!
Riley July 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I have heard that it costs the City $27.00 for one of Serco's employees to put a ticket on the window of a car. Seems to me we could use a new company that had a more reasonable rate and stop harassing the citizens. If breaking a law is based on intent then I believe that almost no one parks at a meter with the intent of letting the time run out. In the case of street cleaning days (a $63.00 ticket) I would hazard a guess that most people leave their car on the wrong side because they simply forget to move their car or forget what day it is. So, where is the "intent" there to commit a misdemeanor?
joninla July 12, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I think you 'heard that fact' from a City Official making up/misrepresenting the cost in order to rationalize the high cost & need to raise ticket fines even more. If there is a $27 'cost' then that is how much the City get via the private company which get charicterized as income not from 'fining residents' so much so they can spend the money on stupid robo garges. BUT DIDN't EVERYONE SEE - the bill say all citys must follow UNLESS They make a different law that provides adequate signage explaining it does ticket broken meeters. WeHo could be renamed 'parking sign city' with the number of current signs confusing people who then get parking tickets. One more sign is even better for extracting more money from parking tickets.
joninla July 12, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Also - the $95 million dollar budget just passed states both the millions of dollars in anticipated parking ticket revenue as it regularly get AND they expect a significant INCREASE In parking fine revenu based on upping fees & extending operating hrs. Do they really not make as much money as people think because there is a $27 cost per ticket? See the budget article for exact dollar figuress, I don't recall the details.
Stephanie July 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Hey, joninla, you are right about the signs. I put a lovely picture at the head of this story. Check it out. WeHo signage! Gotta love it...if you can understand it!


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