A Los Angeles assemblyman has introduced legislation that would prohibit local governments from ticketing motorists who park at broken parking meters, but if passed, it will have little effect in Santa Rosa.

Under AB 61, motorists would be permitted to occupy the spaces for the maximum time allowed by the functioning meter, ensuring that parking spots remain available even when the meters are not working properly.  This was the law in California from 1935 to 2012, when Los Angeles passed an ordinance allowing for the ticketing of drivers who park at broken meters.

More than 17,000 tickets were issued in Los Angeles a single year at meters that had been reported to the city as broken, said Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). His bill is headed to the Senate floor for a full vote.

“Santa Rosa’s Parking Enforcement Officers do not issue tickets for motorists parking at nonfunctional parking meters,” said Kim Nadeau, parking programs coordinator.

“Our multi-space meters accept both coin and credit card payment.  If one of the payment functions is inoperable, we do expect the parker to pay using the operable function,  or walk to the next closest machine to use the payment method of their preference. For example, if the machine was not accepting credit card payments, we would ask the parker to pay using coin, or walk to the nearest machine and pay by credit card there.

“Our maintenance staff responds to reports of broken meters promptly and typically repairs the equipment within 15-30 minutes of the report.”

Also this news about Petaluma parking meters, from the Petaluma Argus Courier:

The City Council on Monday approved a request by the Petaluma Police Department to purchase digital license plate reader equipment meant to aid parking enforcement officers. The equipment consists of cameras being mounted to parking enforcement vehicles, allowing officers to photographically capture the license plates of vehicles parked on city streets.

In many instances, the new technology will eclipse the older method of marking tires with chalk, officials said.