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Should We Be Allowed to Park at Broken Meters Without Being Ticketed? Two City Councilmembers Say Yes

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On January 1, a new state law goes into effect that permits motorists to park at broken parking meters without being penalized. However, on December 5, in a 12-1 vote, the Los Angeles City Council exercised its option to create policy in exception to the state law, and voted in favor of maintaining the city policy to ticket cars left at broken meters.Today two councilmembers put forth a motion calling for a reversal of the city policy. Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry said the just-passed policy "flies in the face of common sense," reports City News Service.

Perry, who is backed on the motion by Dennis Zine, is calling into question the reliability as proclaimed of the meters. The Department of Transportation says that when a meter goes offline and is "broken," the unit instantly sends a message to the LADOT, and the meter is fixed within a few hours. Perry and Zine are calling for an audit into the LADOT's practices when it comes to the timeliness of fixing the meters.

It's a matter of convenience for drivers, says Perry. "It is unfair and impractical to force drivers to look for a new parking spot just because a meter is inoperable," says the councilwoman, adding: "The policy, as it stands now, inconveniences drivers who are often pressed for time and are making a good effort to park in safe and legal places."

Perry was the sole "no" on the policy at last week's vote; Zine was not present to vote.

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One reason the L.A. City Council voted in favor of ticketing drivers who park at broken meters is the belief that if the law weren't as such, the temptation would be too great for vandals to deliberately break parking meters so that they could avoid paying for parking.