The fine for parking in front of a fire hydrant is now $98, up from $83, as decided by the Malibu City Council at the Monday, April 26, council meeting.
Malibu Mayor Paul Grisanti remarked that he was shocked that the fee had only been $83, calling it “ridiculously low.”
“You read my mind,” Council Member Karen Farrer said.
“It should at least be as high as parking in a handicap spot,” Grisanti continued.
During the discussion, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost revealed that the Malibu Volunteers on Patrol issued 17,045 citations in the city last year.
“Our experience up to now has been that many of the violators feel that it is worth the ticket, given the low fine amounts so that they do not be inconvenienced with having to park somewhere else,” he said.
Frost said illegal parking in Malibu contributes to traffic accidents because it obstructs visibility, impairs traffic flow and in general creates unsafe conditions. Multiple city council members pointed out that Malibu is in a high-fire zone, which makes parking in front of a fire hydrant that much more serious. If a fire truck cannot park next to a fire hydrant, it is forced to block cars that are potentially fleeing a fire, Farrer pointed out.
Assistant City Attorney Trevor Rusin said that the city could not raise fines too high because of a vehicle code that requires all fines in LA County to be generally similar.
“If you break $100, you might run into an issue,” he said.
The council agreed on $98, but many expressed they wished they could do much more.
“I’d also like to have airplanes flying overhead with banners that say ‘Malibu Tows’ but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Grisanti quipped.