by Lyssa Goldberg Jun 2015
Broward And Palm Beach Counties Both Just Banned Panhandling
June 24, 2015 — Both Broward and Palm Beach counties approved bans on panhandling Tuesday.
In Broward, commissioners unanimously voted to ban vendors and solicitors from 20 of Broward’s busiest intersections.
The ban prohibits begging for money, selling items like flowers and newspapers, and even soliciting for charitable donations. In fact, the only hand-to-hand exchanges that can still occur on the street would involve a police officer issuing a traffic citation to a driver.
The Broward ordinance states that the county’s aim is to “protect the personal safety … of people using Broward County roadways, both pedestrians and motorists alike.”
Meanwhile, solicitors have said they think the county is targeting the homeless community.
“I believe they are trying to get the homeless population off the streets,” Gary Richardson, who begs for money at State Road 84 and Nob Hill Road, told Local 10.
The Palm Beach County Commission voted 5-1 to ban panhandling on county roads earlier in the day.
“Both for tourists and for residents, it’s an uncomfortable situation to be solicited,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche told the Sun Sentinel.
The one commissioner opposed, Melissa McKinlay, said she worried about penalizing people who have nothing, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Violators could face up to $500 in fines or 60 days of jail time. However, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said officers plan to give warnings before issuing citations or making arrests.