Drivers surprised, frustrated with tickets for reversing into stalls

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Backing your car into a parking stall can cost you a ticket.

It’s a law that surprised some drivers who took to social media with questions about why they got a ticket.

KHON2 went to a Kailua municipal parking lot where we’re told this was happening, and learned that there is law that makes it illegal to reverse into a parking space.

But this applies to a specific type of stall.

Jason Chung owns a business near the municipal lot and says he winds up getting a parking ticket once a month. What angered him most was the time he was cited for backing into a stall.

“I asked him, ‘Why do I get a ticket because I already fed my meter?’ and he said, ‘Because you backed up into your stall,'” Chung said. “I was like, but it doesn’t really matter. Whichever way, I’m still paying for the stall. I don’t know why I’m getting penalized for it.”

KHON2 checked with the Honolulu Police Department and found out that there is a law that says it’s illegal to reverse into a stall. This applies only to county-owned lots with meters, and if the stall is diagonal to the curb.

Sec. 15-22.6 Method of parking.

Except as otherwise specifically stated on the parking meter or signage, when a parking space in any parking meter zone is parallel with the adjacent curb or sidewalk, any vehicle parked in such parking space with an individual parking meter shall be parked within the parking space lines or pavement markings with the front of such vehicle nearest to the parking meter. In the case of the use of a multispace parking meter, the vehicle shall be parked within the parking space lines or pavement markings with the front of the vehicle pointing in the direction of traffic, except as otherwise specifically stated on the parking meter or signage. When a parking space in any parking meter zone with individual parking meters is diagonal to the curb or sidewalk, any vehicle parked in such parking space shall be parked within the parallel parking space lines with the front of such vehicle nearest to such meter, except as otherwise specifically stated on the parking meter or signage. For multispace parking meters with parking spaces diagonal to the curb or sidewalk, any vehicle parked in such parking space shall be parked within the parallel parking space lines with the front of such vehicle adjacent to the curb or sidewalk. (Sec. 15-22.6, R.O. 1978 (1983 Ed.); Am. Ord. 04-32)

The fine is $35. A spokeswoman for HPD adds that reversing into the diagonal stall means going against the flow of traffic which is a safety issue.

There are no signs saying it is illegal to reverse into a stall. Some drivers we spoke with say there should at least be some kind of warning to let them know.

We also looked into complaints about getting cited for expired meters before their time ran out.

A woman who didn’t want to be identified says it’s happened to her five times. She works in the area and says she always makes sure she puts money in before the meter expires.

“I set my alarm for the amount of time that the meter allows, so if you park in a five-hour meter, I set it for four hours and 50 minutes, so I come downstairs with at least 10 minutes left,” she said, “and then I go back and there’s already a ticket there, but it’s time-stamped for after the meter has expired.”

KHON2 checked with HPD and were told, “officers should only be citing once the meter is expired or if they know that the car is parked there beyond the posted time limit.”

The woman who was cited says she fought every ticket by writing a letter and was told she didn’t have to pay any of them.

“It is (a pain), but when you’re not in the wrong, you do whatever it takes,” she said.

KHON2 brought this up with Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who represents the district. He says he has requested a meeting with the city’s Department of Facility Maintenance which oversees the parking lots and HPD.

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