Board of supervisors votes to ban panhandling

Virginia

On Tuesday, the Clarke County board of supervisors unanimously voted to ban panhandling from the county following a public hearing. 

This code prohibits soliciting on public highways, roadways or medians. While the ordinance does apply to the entire county, the sheriff’s office says the main problem area is on Route 50 at the Waterloo intersection.

“We get complaints from citizens that see people out there that are in travel lanes, holding up traffic. They’re actually beating on the cars trying to solicit the funds,” said Clarke County chief sheriff’s deputy Travis Sumption. 

The board says this code will protect the occupants of the vehicles and the solicitors from being struck while on the roadway. 

“That was one of the issues that was brought to us by the public. On some occasions at least, it was reported that those that were requesting donations were pretty aggressive,” said county administrator David Ash.

Anyone who violates the code can be fined $100 for the first offense and $250 for the next offense. 

“Now we have something that we can enforce and when we’re asking them to move on and if they do not move on, after receiving a warning then we have a tool to charge them,” said Sumption. 

The code applies not only to panhandlers but anyone soliciting on the roadway.

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