A Bill of Rights for Motorists
Before 2013, an alarming number of cities were ticketing motorists for parking at broken meters, something that is clearly not the motorist’s fault. After hearing about this, I introduced and passed AB 61, which prevents cities from doing just that. However, AB 61 expires this year, but these reforms should not.
This month, I announced the creation of the California Parking Bill of Rights, which will substantially change how cities and other local governments manage and enforce parking laws, and provide relief from unjust citations. The legislation is designed to make your life a little easier, by prohibiting some of the most vexing practices.
My legislation will prevent cities from issuing tickets at broken parking meters and deter valets from denying motorists the use of metered parking spots. Additionally, the Parking Bill of Rights will require cities to promptly make parking available to motorists after street sweeping activities have concluded. After all, we should be allowed to park on the street after a street sweeper has finished cleaning.
Furthermore, this legislation will prevent cities from fining individuals for cars illegally parked due to criminal activity that was at no fault of the owner. Cars are often stolen and left in metered spots and currently the car’s owner is held responsible for that. Car-theft victims shouldn’t have to pay high towing and storage bills because their car was dumped on a city street by a thief.
Local governments need to understand that parking a vehicle should be an efficient and almost effortless practice, and not yet another inconvenient hassle, and one designed to separate motorists from their money. These simple and practical policy changes will make life easier for people like you, who just want to park their cars and go about their business.
Mike Gatto is the chairman of the Utilities & Commerce Committee and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank. www.asm.ca.gov/gatto