Cop gives parking ticket to man installing no parking sign

Dan Greding was installing a roadside parking sign warning motorists of a 75-minute parking limit when a Santa Barbara cop gave him a ticket for parking for more than 75 minutes. "I said, 'But I'm putting these signs up,'" Greding told KEYT. "And [the officer] says, 'Then you should know you can't park here more than 75 minutes.' I said, 'Well, I haven't put the sign up yet, so you can't write me a ticket.'" He fought the ticket and lost. He's appealing.

Greding: "But I'm putting these signs up [and therefore (1) the law is not yet effective as to this block, or (2) I cannot yet have had adequate notice of said law, or possibly (3) as a sign installer, I am immune from any regulation on a sign I am installing]."

Officer: "Then you should know you can't park here more than 75 minutes [because (1) ignorance of the law is no excuse, (2) the sign refutes your claim of inadequate notice, or possibly (3) there's no such immunity, and in fact as a sign installer you are estopped from claiming ignorance of the law on the sign you are installing]."

Greding: "Well, I haven't put the sign up yet, so you can't write me a ticket. [In this case ignorance is an excuse, and you have no evidence I actually looked at this sign. Although that may be a reasonable assumption for a sign that has been posted, this one has not.]"

Officer: "But the signs down there say, 'this block,' so you're in violation. [Even if I accepted your argument as to this sign, it wouldn't matter because there are other signs on this block, and as you just admitted it is reasonable to assume you looked at those.]"

Greding: "[That was Underhill's statement, not an "admission" by me, as its enclosure in brackets demonstrates. And in any event,] I just put those up 20 minutes ago! [Therefore, even if you were correct, I have not violated the 75-minute rule those signs articulate.]"

Officer: [Tell it to the judge.]

Sign Installer Cited for Violating Rule on the Sign He Was Installing [Kevin Underhill/Lowering the Bar]

(Image: Fira, Santorini-Greece April 2010, Lee Cannon, CC-BY-SA)

Notable Replies

  1. "Greding did tell it to the judge, or a hearing officer, anyway, and lost. He's appealing."

    He is appealing!

  2. kbert says:

    Kafka would love this!

  3. This is why you should always install the "NO ASSHOLES" sign first.

  4. I've got to share this story.

    Roughly four years ago, when I was working in downtown Providence, an intensive program began to ensure that no one would be able to park for free anywhere in the city. New meters sprang up everywhere, and despite my arriving early in the morning, there were fewer and fewer places where I could leave my car without springing for a garage or getting ticketed.

    Finally, it was down to one narrow, isolated strip where I could park at the crack of dawn, and be safe for the day. I used it, but one afternoon, I returned after work to find two things:

    A brand-new parking meter right beside my car, with the dust and debris from the freshly-drilled mounting hole still strewn around the surrounding sidewalk, and

    A fluorescent orange parking ticket proudly attached to my windshield. I was gobsmacked.

    As I stood there in disbelief (most likely with my mouth hanging open) a transit bus pulled up. The driver opened his door, and said “I saw them this morning... they were drilling and ticketing everybody.” He let me take his picture with my iPhone, and I also photographed the debris.

    A couple weeks went by, and I showed up in municipal court to appeal the ticket. You can imagine what I told them, and the judge passed my printed photos around to the bailiff and other court personnel; everyone had a good laugh.

    She threw out the ticket. But I was still out a couple hours work for having to go to court.

  5. All I can think of is an old Benny Hill gag of a man who puts up a "Post No Bills" sign and is immediately arrested.

Continue the discussion

32 more replies