ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint Township board members voted to ban panhandling on the streets 4-3 last night, making it a crime for anyone to ask motorists for money on the side of the road.

It is being called a traffic safety ordinance, and starting in March it will go into effect.  A board member told WJRT,

"The ordinance prohibits anyone in the street from receiving something from a motor vehicle or from giving something from a motor vehicle. And the person that gets the ticket will be the person in the street, not the motor vehicle"

The fine is a maximum of $500 if you are caught panhandling in the streets of Flint Township.

This is an issue that has come up many times in Genesee County, and the main opposition comes from legitimate fund raising efforts.

Multiple times during the year, Firefighters, The Old News Boys, and many other organizations hit the streets to take donations. Will they be effected by the new ordinance?

The decision makers said that they will try to work with people to find assistance before issuing a ticket, including a special committee to work with community organizations.

Do you think the ban on panhandling is a good thing?