Our Northwest

Springfield might ban drivers from giving handouts

Tuesday, February 16, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

You’re driving in town and you stop at a traffic light. A rumpled street person approaches your car holding a sign that says, “Homeless and hungry. Please help.”
     Do you avoid eye contact and drive away? Or do you roll down the window and hand over a dollar?
     If you live in Springfield, giving money to panhandlers soon could earn you a $50 fine.
     The Springfield City Council and police chief are discussing a law restricting handouts on any roadway within the city limits.
     Panhandling is protected under the First Amendment, but city officials say it creates safety hazards and traffic delays. Other Oregon cities already banning panhandling on streets and highways include Roseburg, Cottage Grove, and Coos Bay.
     Read The Register-Guard story.

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