Parking at Defaced Meter Could Cost You

It's the sight we all dread when we head for our cars: a parking control officer slapping a ticket on the windshield. Usually it's the driver's fault for letting the meter expire, but Riverside resident Naveed Ghori says the ticket he received recently was blatantly unfair.

"It's not right for a law abiding citizen to get a ticket in this kind of situation," Ghori complained to the NBC4 I-Team.

The situation played out like this: Ghori had driven to West Los Angeles to take his mother-in-law to get her passport. After pulling into a spot on Santa Monica Boulevard, he approached the kiosk-style parking pay station, and found the glass screen plastered with thick, black graffiti. Since the screen readout was obscured, he swiped his credit card, and just t be sure, dropped in several quarters, and hoped for the best. When he returned 45 minutes later, a $63 citation was waiting.

"I feel like I've been taken advantage of, because I'm there to pay with all forms of payment."

The I-Team reached out to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation for answers. A spokesman pointed out that state law forbids officers from issuing tickets at broken meters, but added that in this case, it appears the meter was defaced, not inoperable.

That means Ghori will have to pay the fine while he contests the ticket.

"I would definitely want to see...if there's any resolution to it, or if the department of transportation is doing anything about it," he said.

The I-Team leared the LADOT is doing something. A spokesman says the department is in the process of phasing out the kiosk-style "parking stations," which were installed as part of a pilot program, in part because graffiti and scratches often make the screens unreadable -- and because they're just plain complicated.

They'll be replaced with traditional single-space parking meters.

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