Document:California Press Release 28 July 1998 War on Parking Meters
- NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA
- Office of the Executive Director
- 11956 Riverside Dr., #206
- Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
- For immediate release: July 28, 1998
- For additional information:
- Juan Ros, Executive Director
- Phone: (818) 506-0200
- Fax: (818) 506-0212
- Web: http://www.ca.lp.org/
Don't declare 'war on parking meters,' Libertarian Party urges
LOS ANGELES - A new proposal introduced in the California legislature would regulate the accuracy of city-owned parking meters -- launching a "War on Parking Meters," warned the Libertarian Party of California.
"We've seen the War on Poverty, the War on Tobacco, and the War on Drugs," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "Now we can add parking meters to the list."
The legislation, introduced yesterday by state Senator Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco) as an amendment to SB 1676, is intended to curb a major growing problem in California -- inaccurate parking meters. Or so Kopp would have Californians believe.
"There has been no uprising over inaccurate parking meters," noted Hinkle. "Cities are upgrading from old mechanical meters to more accurate electronic meters. Many already have. This bill is yet another example of politicians trying to solve problems that don't really exist."
Kopp was moved to propose the amendment because of a study conducted by an 11-year-old girl for a sixth-grade science fair project. Ellie Lammer of Berkeley discovered only a 6% accuracy rate among 50 parking meters she tested.
"Ms. Lammer's study merely proves that the city of Berkeley paid for some bad parking meters," concluded Hinkle. "But it's no reason for the state of California to take action."
In fact, Ms. Lammer's study found that 66% of the meters cheated the city -- giving drivers more time than the meter was supposed to.
"Never mind that Berkeley's meters were mechanical and over 20 years old. Lawmakers realized drivers weren't paying their fair share and have found a way to recoup that lost revenue," said Hinkle.
Berkeley generates $2.8 million annually through its meters, according to the city's Parking Citation Center.
Kopp's bill would give counties the authority to test and certify the accuracy of city-owned parking meters, and that's precisely why the Libertarian Party objects. "Cities should be responsible for the accuracy of their own parking meters. If meters cheat a city out of revenue, then the city needs to investigate. The state and counties have no business interfering," said Hinkle.
"Politicians need to park their desire to pass superfluous legislation and concentrate on protecting individual rights," declared Hinkle.
"The Libertarian Party of California calls for an end to the 'War on Parking Meters.' Time has definitely expired on silly laws and unwanted government intrusion."