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Politics & Government

Springfield Restricts Panhandling

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City of Springfield
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The Springfield City Council voted 4 to 1 Monday night to pass an ordinance that prohibits motorists from giving money or other items to panhandlers from their cars while in traffic. It does not offer exemptions for charitable organizations.

Springfield Police Chief Tim Doney says the ordinance is aimed at improving safety on city streets. He says it does not *ban panhandling

“What the ordinance does is it prohibits the transfer of property from either a driver or a passenger in a vehicle to a pedestrian that is in the roadway. This does not apply if the vehicle is legally parked.”

Doney says Springfield’s ordinance is modeled after similar ones in Roseburg and other Oregon cities.  He says police will not start fining motorists up to $50 right away. They’ll initially work to educate the public about the new rule. About a dozen people spoke against the ordinance at Monday’s council meeting. The ACLU of Oregon has expressed concern it violates freedom of speech.

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