A USC journalism student put together an enterprising video report about city parking tickets, and the results probably won't surprise you: He captured Department of Transportation Parking Enforcement officers issuing tickets for parking during street sweeping hours even when street sweepers never came around.

A DOT official gives student Matt Schrader an interview and says that, in fact, policy dictates that tickets should not be issued for parking during street sweeping hours if the sweepers aren't actually cleaning those particular streets.

But Schrader catches Parking Enforcement officers issuing tickets again and again on streets that don't see street sweepers for weeks. Only six of nine streets downtown he monitored over a three week period were actually swept on schedule, but the DOT ticket-makers were there like clockwork.

A city maintenance official tells the student that street sweeping crews have been short-handed, and thus the unattended curbs. But Schrader attributes some of the Department of Transportation's zeal to its role as a major contributor to the city's budget: DOT tickets amount to $134 million annually, enough to cover the city's most recent, $100 million budget shortfall.

In a moment of poetic injustice, Schrader captures a DOT hybrid vehicle parked along a curb emptied of other cars because of the no-parking hours mandated by (nonexistent) street sweeping. Other DOT cars pass it by, but it sits for an hour, ticket-less. The officials says they don't ticket their own, including Los Angeles police and fire vehicles.

Spotted at LAist.

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