Nobody likes getting a parking ticket. It can be frustrating if you get a ticket just moments after your meter expires. But Tricia Miles had a particularly infuriating experience.
She says she was “literally as I was trying to pay, he was giving me the ticket.”
Miles got a $50 parking ticket as she stood at a park and pay station trying to pay for her meter.
Miles said she went to Larchmont for lunch with co- workers. She parked in space number 335 and then went with her boss to the kiosk to pay for her parking space. She had used park and pay stations before but was having some issues with her credit card.
Miles looked up and saw an officer a few car spaces away. Initially she thought she could ask him for help – but then she realized he was busy writing her a ticket.
“I saw him putting the ticket on my windshield and I was so angry when I saw him doing that. I couldn’t believe it. And then I started to yell and say hey I’m over here! I’m trying to pay! What are you doing?” she said.
Bruce Gillman, Public Information Officer for the LA Department of Transportation said that this is a very rare occurrence – but in this circumstance the ticket holds.
Gillman said that parking officers are automatically notified if a vehicle is parked and not paid for. He repeatedly emphasized that at the time the ticket was written “no payment was made.”
When asked about the fact that Miles was in the process of paying, Gillman said that if payment is received within one minute of a ticket being issued – the ticket is voided.
Miles said because she was in the process of paying - and frustrated and confused by the officer's actions - she stopped to talk to the officer.
Gillman said she should have finished her transaction first – then gone to engage with the officer.
There is no warning or information on the pay station NBC LA looked at that advises drivers on this point.
Many drivers in the area seemed to struggle with the park and pay kiosks. Some prefer the individual meters – one meter for each car – as opposed to having to walk to the park and pay station.
Many agreed that even though these machines have been around for a few years, there is still a learning curve.
Miles says that part of her frustration is that the officer who issued the ticket admitted that there was a “flaw” in the system.
But Gillman disagrees, “I don’t believe there is a flaw in the system” and recommends that if you are having problems paying a meter – you can always find another parking spot.