Phoenix just made it a crime to panhandle in median

PHOENIX (TPAZ) –  I know you’ve seen them, men and women holding that little cardboard sign asking for passing compassionate drivers for their spare change. They are usually crossing in and out of traffic.  Yes, I’m guilty of rolling down my window a time or two to help someone in need. Well, the City of Phoenix has now made it illegal  for people to stand and collect money at intersections and medians as of  last Wednesday.The ordinance comes with an “emergency clause” meaning it went into effect immediately.

City officials say  jaywalking, which is essentially what one is doing while standing in the median, resulted in 147 injuries or fatalities in Phoenix last year, which is 25-percent of all pedestrian crashes reported.

The push for this change was spearheaded by Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski who stated in a  interview that ” it’s a safety concern and dangerous”. Nomakowski chairs the city’s public safety and veterans subcommittee. “Cars are moving and people are in the middle of the street.”

First there will be a written warning . After documented warning by the officer, the first violation is a $250 fine. Subsequent violations come with a Class-1 misdemeanor that could mean jail time.  So many states have taken up new laws to restrict the homeless from seeking help. Are we asking ourselves why such an increase of people on our city streets?



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