Now that certain sections of the Illinois Vehicle Code have been adumbrated by the City of Evanston’s code, police officers can issue citations for certain violations of the State Vehicle Code.  The City is in the final process of cleaning up duplications in the City code. Monday night’s “cleanup” ordinance was to ensure that the violations would be cited correctly but little was said about the underlying purpose of the ordinance.

It is hard to tell what is behind this move, because not all the violations for which the Evanston police can issue citations deal with imminent safety. The presentation to City Council on Feb. 11 emphasized the money angle, suggesting that more cars could be booted for unpaid violations, thus funneling more money into the City coffers.

Evanston is poor, we know. It has a lot of debt. It also has a lot of big dreams, as evidenced by the past two City Council meetings, where projects costing many millions of dollars were paraded before the City and the public – all meant to boost the attractiveness of Evanston and to enhance its growth, if we could come up with the money or the means to pay for them.  

But back to this little traffic measure: We would regret it if this latest traffic move is just another instance of nickel-and-diming the public, and we believe that, if that is in fact the case, Council members will rue it too.