California Travel Tips

California Parking Ticket Traumas, Tricks and Traps

Published on: April 19, 2013


Pictured is Newport Beach parking ticket enforcement. See the guy wearing a friendly Hawaiian tourist shirt and riding a bike? Look out when you see him and put money in that meter fast!  Most guests think parking ticket patrol cyclists in Newport Beach ARE tourists. But if you happen to catch these stealth bicyclists in the act, you’ll see that they can whip out traffic tickets lickety-split, then be gone.  In Southern California, Newport Beach’s ticket givers rival Los Angeles where up to four or five different parking restriction signs line streets in West Hollywood. To shop or dine you may find yourself completely frustrated and confused by the parking signs– but don’t let your guard down. If you do it may cost you $50 or more!

We all have parking ticket horror stories. One friend actually blamed me for her car being towed because she talked with me on her cell phone and didn’t notice that 10 minutes into the conversation the street was closed  for a farmer’s market in Huntington Beach.  I understand that blame is an integral part of the healing process when it comes to parking tickets and towing fees that can climb to several hundred bucks. OUCH!

Parking misconceptions:

  • I won’t get a ticket for an expired parking meter if someone is sitting in the car – wrong! It happens in Long Beach a lot.
  • I can pay my fee and it will all be forgotten – wrong! Consumers in Oakland report many horror stories about paying their tickets on time and receiving late fees– triple the original amount.
  • Moving my car from one  parking spot to another when the 2 hour limit runs out is OK – wrong! In San Francisco the MTA says you can’t move around the corner, you can’t move across the street and you can’t move down the block. You actually have to be a complete city block away from where you were originally! And best of all, the rules aren’t visible in most places.
  • If street sweeping dates & times aren’t posted, Ican’t get a ticket. Wrong!
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