The last couple of posts about using the parking laws to your advantage were met with a few anonymous naysayers who wrote in saying that fighting a ticket was not worth it because it will, “…take 5+ hours in travel time, waiting in court, stating your case, etc.” And, "You can't fight City Hall...it's a waste of time...just sell your car...blah, blah, blah."
Well, parking officers aren’t always 100 percent up to date with the laws and often give tickets erroneously. There were close to 2 million parking tickets handed out last year, so if a parking cop makes a mistake just one percent of the time, that’s 20,000 erroneous parking tickets handed out per year. If a ticket is contested properly, it will be investigated by SFMTA. And if you know the law, it will be waived, and that $65-$450 will remain in your bank account and not handed over to MUNI.
With that, I thought I’d share a few notes that I received telling me of positive results in contesting parking tickets:
Hi Parking Guru,
I did submit a protest based on my car not being identified in any way on the citation and also for being parked further than 100 feet from the sign. I just received a response today in the mail from SFMTA:
We have received your inquiry regarding the parking citation listed below. We have reviewed your claim and found the citation to be invalid. The reasons may include but are not limited to the following: technical deficiency. The citation has been dismissed. No payment or further action is necessary. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Amazing! I am so glad that I didn't just blindly pay it. Thank you again for your helpful advice and I hope that my situation will help you to help others in the future should they end up in a similar situation.
Dear Parking Guru,
I successfully fought my ticket using the 100 foot rule in my favor exactly like you suggested. I wrote one simple sentence stating, "The restrictive signs are more than 100 feet away." I sent it in to the contesting department with my ticket. I sent in no money. DPT quickly sent me a letter letting me know that they would investigate. They then sent me another letter stating that my ticket was cleared. It took me a grand total of 90 seconds to fight my ticket. The bulk of the 90 seconds was spent looking for the stamp. Knowing this rule was the key factor.
Thanks a million, or at least $65!
It’s really just a simple matter of knowing the rules to avoid getting a ticket in the first place, and if you do, knowing the rules better than the traffic officers do, and then taking swift and simple action.
To get a copy of the SF parking bible for yourself, or a friend in need click here.
And now, for your listening enjoyment, two interpretations of the classic Sonny Curtis Song: “I Fought the Law and the Law Won”