Think about it. Why does Parking Enforcement mail citations to illegally parked cars? Why don't they attach the citation to the car? Parking Enforcement would give two good answers.
1) People don't pay the fine and a second notice is required to be mailed.
2) People drive away while the officer is still writing the citation and the citation (first notice) has to be mailed.
Let's look at these two answers.
Why don't people pay their fines?
1) Some people just don't. They don't want to, they forget, they don't have the money, they are protesting the citation. They are sent a second notice.
2) Some people are innocent and request a review or court hearing and don't realize that they still need to pay the fine within the time limit - it's called "bail". When I once called requesting such a review, no one told me I still had to pay the fine during the review. These people are sent a second notice.
3) The citation blew away or it was raining and the citation got wet. Someone took the citation off the car as a prank.
4) A lot of people are victims of "revenge tickets" and "not really there tickets" as explained elsewhere in this site. These are cars that where not actually at the location so there was nothing to which the officer could attach the citation. They are sent a second notice for which they never actually received a first.
All this doesn't explain the victims who receive a mailed citation (first notice) within a few days of the "illegal" parking. These are mailed immediately. These are people who drive away while the citation is being written.
Why do people drive away while the citation is being written?
1) People think that if they drive away, they can't be issued a citation. All the officer needs is the car's make, model, and license number (as explained under "not really there tickets" and "revenge tickets"). If you drive away once the officer has this information, you get a mailed citation.
2) Some people return to their vehicles while an officer is writing a citation, but since the driver is legally parked and doesn't realize that the officer is writing a citation in error or fraudulently against the legally parked vehicle, the driver innocently drives away thinking the citation is for an adjacent vehicle. These people get a mailed citation.
3) People return to their vehicles while the citation is being written, reason with the officer, and the officer "lets it go." Then the officer writes a revenge ticket after the drive leaves. See The "I am wrong, I'll tear up your ticket" trick.
Since the management of Parking Enforcement arrogantly can't believe that their officers ever make mistakes or write fraudulent citations, there is no way that they can accept the driver's innocence. Remember, in Parking Enforcement matters, you are guilty until proven innocent and the word of a lying officer is more creditable than any physical evidence by a driver. The problem is both the dishonest officers and the management that allows these practices. SLAPEC wants a review of all mailed citations.
The 2010 California Vehicle Code, Division 17, Article 3.5, Sec. 40202(a,b,d) explicitly states that the ticket must be placed on the vehicle, and may only be delivered through the mail if the car is driven away while it is being ticketed.
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