LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Starting next year, Los Angeles and other California cities will be legally unable to cite drivers for parking at broken parking meters under a bill signed into law today.

Assembly Bill 61 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto will take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown signed Gatto’s bill ensures that cities like Los Angeles — The City Council just rescinded a policy of having cars parked at broken meters cited — would not be able to cite drivers in the future.

The City Council left open an option to change tack, asking for a report on parking meter vandalism. Should the report, due in about six months, show an increase in vandalism to the city’s newfangled, hard-to-cheat meters, some council members voiced a willingness to reverse the no-ticket policy.

“’Local control’ does not provide a right to fleece taxpayers,” Gatto said.

“The question of parking at a broken meter should not be up for review or reconsideration every six months, nor should motorists be subject to confusing ordinances as they drive from city to city,” he said. “It’s time to end this unfair practice throughout California.”

City officials tried to sell the idea of ticketing motorists who park at broken meters as a means of  preventing people from breaking or jamming meters just to park free.

City officials say the latest meters are hard to tamper with and electronically alert city officials when they are out of order.

NBC4 reported that at least 17,000 tickets were issued to motorists for parking at broken meters in Los Angeles.