SUMMERVILLE S.C. (WCBD) – Summerville town council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit panhandlers on roadways.
Town leaders held the first reading during a Thursday meeting on whether to ban peddlers, charitable solicitors, buskers, and panhandlers in roadway meetings. They also heard from residents and the police department on the matter.
This initiative was brought to the Summerville Police Department when area residents started expressing their concerns about the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
Jashea Hollis, a Summerville resident, shared concerns and ideas on how the town could use the support to protect pedestrians and drivers.
“I’ll say with the new amendment coming, it’ll be a good idea just because the safety of not only the pedestrians who are going to be occupying that area but also the drivers who are going to be occupying that median as well to do turns or whatever the case may be,” said Hollis.
After hearing from residents, Summerville Police Chief Doug Wright brought the issues to the town council, and many members agreed that a change to protect the people was needed.
Russ Touchberry, A town council member, agreed that the panhandlers and drivers are the number one concern. He felt like that was the town’s priority.
“Public safety is probably the number one most important thing within a community, and you know the safety of not only the panhandlers but other pedestrians as well as our traveling public is essential,” said Touchberry.
Captain Chris Hirsch of the Summerville Police Department said if adopted, violators of the ordinance could face consequences in the form of a fine or jail time.
“People are caught doing this they could face a fine dollar amount and possibly up to 30 days in jail,” said Capt. Hirsch.
Thursday’s meeting was the first vote of that ordinance. More action will be required before it passes.