An attempt to reach uniformity in ordinances establishing curfew for youths under a specific age is reasonable, especially given the patchwork of municipalities in York County

And thinking outside the box on such issues normally would be a commendable expression of creativity. But in West York -- and perhaps soon in North York -- officials have taken things beyond the reasonable pale with the establishment of a daytime curfew.

Sometimes municipal bodies have to make a choice of mission. West York has made a troublesome choice. Municipalities are chartered for the establishment of good order and proper services to residents, not as champions of truancy law.

That's what the daytime curfew -- with its requirement that those under 18 cannot be in public places without school permission -- amounts to. And it flies in the face of common sense.

West York approved this convoluted restriction earlier this week, while North York might vote to approve a similar ordinance April 7. North York would be wise to reconsider.

The 18-year age limit alone is untenable. A quick check of school records would show that a good number of individuals manage to graduate from high school before reaching that age.

How do you enforce a daytime curfew on them? From what authority or from whom would police require a permission slip?

And there's the questionable language that parental permission is requrired for homeschooled children, who could be out for any number of legitimate reasons.

West York council president Shaun Mauck says his community's new daytime restriction is a pilot program for the county.


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That's one official taking a positive view of a flawed regualation.

Reality possibly could prove embarrassing and costly once the wrong young person, under 18 but clearly no longer a student, is detained in an excess of curfew-enforcement zeal.