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Thread: parking near fire hydrant

  1. #1
    Dere4u is offline Junior Member
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    parking near fire hydrant

    I got a parking ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant. los angeles, Ca. I checked to citation code and it states that you should be 15 feet away from it unless the city issued an local law making it shorter. But it must mark or list signs stating the distant. Los Angeles City gov,has never issued an ordinace but they have most of the fire hydrants marked on curb in red. The distant varies from 2 feet to more than 15 feet. When I parked I used the distant that was marked for a hydrant accross the street which was painted in red only 3 feet. I know I was less than 15 feet but do we need to carry measuring sticks or state parking codes. I thought as accross the street I was far enough. I later found out from the YMCA that I went to that tickets are issued there everyday near top the hours because the parking lot gets full and members park alone the street. I know the safety issue is in fact here but writing an average of 4 tickets a day seems to be more of a revenue collection the safety... I would even pay to have the curb painted, but that went on deaf ears. Yes $63.00 is the fine. Well, I want to know is fighting the ticket on the fact that the city never passed an ordinance to shorten the distant by law and have been acting as so by having some hydrants with distants as short as 2 feet. Would a court force the city to issue an ordinance and mark locations? The money for the ticket is of no issue with me, it's only $63 bucks.
  2. #2
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    What code section were you cited for violating?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    The LADOT site for the City of Los Angeles specifies that the following general provisions of law apply whether or not there are signs or curb markings present:
    Parking is prohibited in an intersection or a crosswalk, within 15 feet of a fire station driveway or fire hydrant, in front of a public or private driveway, on a sidewalk or parkway, on the roadway side of a parked vehicle (double parking), in a bus stop, in a tunnel, upon a bridge (unless otherwise posted) or in such a manner that obstructs the free use of the street.
    and it references Los Angeles Municipal Code SEC. 87.02.

    I see nothing about there being a shorter distance allowed with a posted sign, and since you even admit there was no sign where you parked, the general provisions apply to you. If you were parked less than 15 feet away, then the ticket is valid.
  4. #4
    Dere4u is offline Junior Member
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    fire hydrant parking too close

    The V.C. is section 22514. Ca.gov
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Here is the section:

    22514. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle
    within 15 feet of a fire hydrant except as follows:
    (a) If the vehicle is attended by a licensed driver who is seated
    in the front seat and who can immediately move such vehicle in case
    of necessity.
    (b) If the local authority adopts an ordinance or resolution
    reducing that distance. If the distance is less than 10 feet total
    length when measured along the curb or edge of the street, the
    distance shall be indicated by signs or markings.
    (c) If the vehicle is owned or operated by a fire department and
    is clearly marked as a fire department vehicle.

    So, if you were within 15' if the hydrant, you are guilty of the offense.

    And note the DMV driver's handbook section about "illegal parking":

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/parking.htm

    It's one of the many rules of the road that we are all expected to remember and no signs are required.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dere4u View Post
    I got a parking ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant. los angeles, Ca.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dere4u View Post
    The V.C. is section 22514. Ca.gov
    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Here is the section:

    22514. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle
    within 15 feet of a fire hydrant except as follows:
    (a) If the vehicle is attended by a licensed driver who is seated
    in the front seat and who can immediately move such vehicle in case
    of necessity.
    (b) If the local authority adopts an ordinance or resolution
    reducing that distance. If the distance is less than 10 feet total
    length when measured along the curb or edge of the street, the
    distance shall be indicated by signs or markings.
    (c) If the vehicle is owned or operated by a fire department and
    is clearly marked as a fire department vehicle.

    So, if you were within 15' if the hydrant, you are guilty of the offense.

    And note the DMV driver's handbook section about "illegal parking":

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/parking.htm

    It's one of the many rules of the road that we are all expected to remember and no signs are required.
    We need clarification from OP here.

    If OP lives IN the City of Los Angeles, then the LAMC violation would apply.
    If OP lives somewhere in the Los Angeles area where there is no specific city ordinance, then the VC would apply.
    (I think - Carl, could you verify this? Or do you know what the rule is on which law would apply in this case, if it's not based on whether or not there is a City Ordinance that would supercede the State law?)

    So the question to OP is this - Do you live in the City of Los Angeles? Is the VC you quoted just the one you looked up, or is it the one that is specifically written down on your ticket? (The answer is important.)
    Last edited by sandyclaus; 03-10-2012 at 06:16 AM.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyclaus View Post
    So, it sounds like OP lives somewhere in the Los Angeles area, but not within the City of Los Angeles, otherwise the LAMC would apply (the local LA ordinance) as opposed to the CVC.
    Even in the city limits, either section can be written for parking.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Even in the city limits, either section can be written for parking.
    So in other words, even if there is a City Ordinance that regulates a parking violation, the officer can arbitrarily choose whether to cite based upon the Ordinance or the State law? Is there any hard and fast rule on when one or the other would have to take precedence?

    I'm curious (being that I live in the City of Los Angeles myself).
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyclaus View Post
    So in other words, even if there is a City Ordinance that regulates a parking violation, the officer can arbitrarily choose whether to cite based upon the Ordinance or the State law? Is there any hard and fast rule on when one or the other would have to take precedence?

    I'm curious (being that I live in the City of Los Angeles myself).
    There may be an agency policy that recommends one or the other, or a city ordinance doing the same, but there is no law I know of that prohibits either.

    There is some legal opinion floating around that indicates that when there are municipal codes that are identical to state statutes, the state statute must be cited ... though, the subject came up as a result of municipalities citing muni codes rather than state statutes to try and garner more for the fines for themselves - parking violations already go largely to the city.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    There may be an agency policy that recommends one or the other, or a city ordinance doing the same, but there is no law I know of that prohibits either.

    There is some legal opinion floating around that indicates that when there are municipal codes that are identical to state statutes, the state statute must be cited ... though, the subject came up as a result of municipalities citing muni codes rather than state statutes to try and garner more for the fines for themselves - parking violations already go largely to the city.
    That's really interesting. And I also didn't realize that by citing state violations vs muni codes, the revenue would go to the state rather than the municipality.

    Thanks for the lesson
  11. #11
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyclaus View Post
    That's really interesting. And I also didn't realize that by citing state violations vs muni codes, the revenue would go to the state rather than the municipality.

    Thanks for the lesson
    Well, MORE of the fines goes to the state when you cite a state code in non-parking matters, that's why some cities started doing this over the last couple of years. It has touched off an interesting debate on the subject in Sacramento, though i don't know that it has yet gotten to a courtroom, yet.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    Dere4u is offline Junior Member
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    Well, after speaking with many of a our finest meter maids, (parking enforcement officers) the 15 feet is the standard they go by. Unless, it is painted red on the curb and some officers stated they seen curbs painted as short as 2 feet. I pointed out that confusion on my part of the hydrant accross the street. That distant was about 3 feet and I measured my distant based on that. But, I was told the curb was painted red (I lose).. One supervisor told me if up to the local fire department on the distant and marking or not marking. I asked where did he get that, and said it's known. I cannot wait to asked the next fire fighter I see... But I do not care about the $63 bucks, I just do not like a parking enforcement officer waiting down the street every hour to write another ticket for that hydrant. If it's a safety issue and people are confused on how far, if they park 14.6 feet away. Then mark the area for safety. Hell, I'll pay for the red paint....
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dere4u View Post
    If it's a safety issue and people are confused on how far...
    That's insulting to the intelligence of MOST licensed drivers in this state. It's been over 2 and a half decades since I took my driver's test and I still remember that particular law (it hasn't changed.)
  14. #14
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dere4u View Post
    Well, after speaking with many of a our finest meter maids, (parking enforcement officers) the 15 feet is the standard they go by. Unless, it is painted red on the curb and some officers stated they seen curbs painted as short as 2 feet. I pointed out that confusion on my part of the hydrant accross the street. That distant was about 3 feet and I measured my distant based on that. But, I was told the curb was painted red (I lose).. One supervisor told me if up to the local fire department on the distant and marking or not marking. I asked where did he get that, and said it's known. I cannot wait to asked the next fire fighter I see... But I do not care about the $63 bucks, I just do not like a parking enforcement officer waiting down the street every hour to write another ticket for that hydrant. If it's a safety issue and people are confused on how far, if they park 14.6 feet away. Then mark the area for safety. Hell, I'll pay for the red paint....
    **A: then pay the $63 and give them some red paint.
  15. #15
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dere4u View Post
    Well, after speaking with many of a our finest meter maids, (parking enforcement officers) the 15 feet is the standard they go by. Unless, it is painted red on the curb and some officers stated they seen curbs painted as short as 2 feet. I pointed out that confusion on my part of the hydrant accross the street. That distant was about 3 feet and I measured my distant based on that. But, I was told the curb was painted red (I lose).. One supervisor told me if up to the local fire department on the distant and marking or not marking. I asked where did he get that, and said it's known. I cannot wait to asked the next fire fighter I see... But I do not care about the $63 bucks, I just do not like a parking enforcement officer waiting down the street every hour to write another ticket for that hydrant. If it's a safety issue and people are confused on how far, if they park 14.6 feet away. Then mark the area for safety. Hell, I'll pay for the red paint....
    But, you were cited for the CVC section which specifies that you cannot park within 15'. You admit that you parked within 15' of the hydrant. You appear to be guilty. Now you know.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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