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No Vote Yet On Alderman’s Plan To Impound Cars For Littering

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A plastic bag ends up as litter in this Chicago street scene. (CBS)

A plastic bag ends up as litter in this Chicago street scene. (CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Aldermen have heard testimony on the pros and cons of – but have yet to vote on – a proposed ordinance that would allow the city to impound your vehicle if you’re caught tossing litter out the window.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the ordinance would raise the maximum fine for throwing litter out of a vehicle from $200 to $1,500.

If approved, the city also could impound the vehicles of drivers caught in the act.

Jeff Baker, president of the community group Committee for a Better Chicago, opposed the measure, saying police don’t enforce existing fines.

“It hasn’t been proven that the $150 fine won’t work, unless somebody can show me some proof where we have so many repeat offenders that we have to raise the punishment,” he said. “I don’t believe you have to take the cars, the automobiles of people in a community that is already hurting, that is already starving for resources.”

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), who sponsored the measure, said it’s not about the penalties, it’s about the littering.

“I don’t want to fine one person, I don’t want to take one car, I want people to stop,” Brookins said.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) backed the stiffer fines for littering.

“I’ve seen too many people just throw whole bags of chicken bones, whole McDonald’s bags, whole bags of whatever. They finish and just throw it out as if it’s no consequence at all,” Ervin said.

The measure was held in committee from input from the Police Department and the city’s Law Department.

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