Oh Cool, L.A. Has Been Handing Out Bogus Parking Tickets

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That which ruins your day (Photo by atwatervillage via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Update: Mayor Eric Garcetti promises to get the L.A. Department of Transportation to dismiss and refund all the bogus parking tickets.

You might want to double-check that $73 street sweeping ticket that’s collecting dust in your car right now.

Los Angeles parking officers have been filmed in several instances giving out parking tickets when the street sweeper never showed up, according to a CBS2 investigation. Those tickets were issued in “relaxed parking zones,” as it’s been dubbed when street sweeping is cancelled, but the unaware parking officers issued tickets anyway.

And here’s a fun fact: the investigation found 622,873 parking tickets have been issued overall (including legit tickets) since Dec. 1, 2013, with the city collecting $45,469,729 in fines.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has made it a cause to stop such tickets from being issued, and last year the city started a website showing when certain routes would have relaxed enforcement because the street sweeping had been cancelled. Part of the problem is that many just aren’t aware that (supposedly) relaxed enforcement exists—both on the part of enforcement and those getting the tickets.

In one instance, reporter David Goldstein confronted an officer who had just issued five bogus tickets. The officer replied, “that’s because they didn’t tell us.”

“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Katie Donahue, one of the drivers who received a bogus ticket. “They’re preying on the citizens’ lack of knowledge about this.”

Garcetti weighed in on the investigation and wasn’t happy:

“Well, that is absolutely unacceptable. I can’t tell you how upset I was to hear that and, thanks to your reporting, people who got those tickets are going to get a refund, and it’s going to stop. Period.”

The Department of Transportation now says they’ll dismiss and refund the bogus tickets that have been issued since Dec. 1, 2013, when the relaxed enforcement website was started. CBS2 has a website where you can check to see if your ticket was issued in error, so even if you’ve paid off a ticket, you could get that money back.

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