Evanston officials worried about the seemingly never-ending problems of parking meter scofflaws and residential parking rule violators might want to look to the nation’s capitol.

No, not for a handout to pay for more parking enforcement officers, but for possible high-tech solutions.

The Washington Post today reports that District of Columbia officials are testing systems from three companies that use cameras mounted on parking enforcement vehicles to check license plates or vehicle dimensions to spot people who overstay parking meter limits or violate residential parking rules.

D.C. Public Works Director William Howland says the effort in part focuses on commuters who occupy downtown parking spaces intended for shoppers. “We want turnover to help business,” he says.

The Post says the camera systems being tested “look like gizmos from ‘Ghost Busters.’” One system, mounted on a sport-utlity vehicle, has four cameras, two lasers and a global positioning dome.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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