Parking on the “wrong” side of the road would be legal in residential areas under a bill that breezed through a Louisiana Senate committee Thursday.

Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, sponsor of the bill, said his proposal stems from an incident in a nearby legislative district in New Orleans.

Martiny said a public official — not identified — showed up for a community hearing and was dismayed to hear numerous complaints about road conditions.

The next day, he said, citations were issued to multiple vehicles in the area since they were “technically against traffic” in how they parked.

“I don’t think the law was ever meant to encompass residential districts,” Martiny told the committee.

State law requires cars and trucks to park within 18 inches of the curb, with the right-hand wheels parallel to the curb.

However, the rule is widely ignored in Baton Rouge and elsewhere.

Law enforcement officials are often reluctant to ticket such violations, even when complaints are lodged.

Some neighborhood groups say such parking is an eyesore and dangerous.

Martiny called the law a “money grab.”

He said authorities could issue thousands of tickets if they were inclined to do so because parking on the “wrong” side of street is so common in the New Orleans area.

“It is not a public safety issue,” Martiny said. “People park in front of their house.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 62, won approval in the Senate Transportation Committee without objection.

It next faces action in the full Senate.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.

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