LaGrange City Council Votes to Prohibit Roadway Solicitation
LAGRANGE, GA. – August 29, 2018 (langrangenews.com) According to an online news report from langrangenews.com, the City Council of LaGrange, Georgia, voted August 28 to prohibit roadway solicitation within the city.*
Following weeks of discussion on the subject, the LaGrange City Council voted, 3-2, to ban roadway solicitation inside the city. Roadway solicitation refers to people standing on the side of the road or in medians, walking up to cars to ask for donations or to sell merchandise. The LaGrange Police Department has received complaints about the practice, and intersections often used for solicitation have high accident rates. A total of 46 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in LaGrange in the last three years.
“We brought this to you because of a number of complaints that we received,” said LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar. “People don’t like folks coming up to their car. Distracted driving -- I think the last stat I saw 15,000 fatalities a year [in Georgia] are attributed to it. So now we’ve got folks approaching trying to decide if they are going to reach for their purse, their console, their wallet.”
In opposition to the ban, the LaGrange Shriners Club told council members that the club would have a much more difficult time raising funds without the ability to solicit on roadways. Council Member Nathan Gaskin, who voted in favor of the prohibition, said the vote was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make.
“I think the Shriners Club has done a fantastic job,” Gaskin said. “You did nothing wrong. It just boils down to safety. I think it also boils down to the fact that recently, the State of Georgia has outlawed cell phones to be used in a car, thus making it everybody’s priority to pay attention to what is going on in the roadway. And I understand your struggle. I support your struggle, and I will be trying to come up with some sort of solution.”
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