Urbana's 'Fix-It Tickets' saved drivers $419.40 in first month

Urbana's 'Fix-It Tickets' saved drivers $419.40 in first month

URBANA — Mayor Diane Marlin on Monday announced results from the first month of Urbana's new program to help drivers with broken car lights.

Called "Fix-It Tickets," the program has police distributing payment vouchers to drivers pulled over for broken head- and taillights. Each voucher has a price limit of $25, can be redeemed at Urbana's Advance Auto Parts and expires in 60 days.

Marlin told the city council that in July, 73 vouchers were issued, and 52 — or 71 percent — were redeemed. That saved drivers a total of $419.40 in repairs.

That money was covered instead by the program's funding — a $2,500 allocation of existing funds from the city's Human Relations Division.

About 20 percent of Urbana traffic stops are equipment violations, Marlin said. The city will continue the program on a pilot basis until the funding runs out and decide what to do next after that.

When the vouchers are offered, drivers are free to decline them.

There are some situations where vouchers aren't offered, including if a person has already received one during the pilot period and if the stop leads to a criminal arrest of the driver.

In other business, the council appointed the first non-adult member of a city board or commission. High-schooler Maddy Garbacz is joining the Sustainability Advisory Commission after a push from youth wanting to get involved with the city.

Marlin said a person normally has to be 18 or older to join a city board or commission, but Garbacz's spot was specially created to allow for someone younger than that.

Members of the iMatter Youth group to combat climate change spoke to the council months ago about boosting Urbana's sustainability. One idea they pitched was youth influence and participation in decisions regarding the environment, saying those choices ultimately impact them more than adults.