Friday, January 25, 2013

Intersection Soliciting

A recent commentor opined, and requested information, on intersection soliciting.  

Here is one of Jim's previous posts on the subject.

Here is another.

After reading the Permit and Ordinance, having experienced numerous instances of intersection solicitation, and being the father of two, here are my two cents.  I believe it should be banned, but not because I have a heart of stone.  Rather, it is an unnecessary heightened risk of danger to life and limb.  Common sense dictates anytime you allow people, including children, in the road alongside moving vehicles, there is the risk of injury.  There are too many other public places where the solicitation could take place (i.e., parks, county buildings, commercial property, etc.) that are an appropriate substitute.   

And its not just the obvious danger of darting between moving vehicles.  I've seen drivers brake unexpectedly in order to fish around for change (or wait for a peddler to approach their car).  Meanwhile, the light is green and the drivers behind them assume traffic is moving.  

Making my case, the Ordinance and Application for Permit provide the following: 

(1) the Rankin County Board of Supervisors requests written indemnification from the soliciting organization,
(2) those under the age of 16 are banned from participating, 
(3) those aged 16 to 21 (yes, a 21 year old) must have written parental consent, 
(4) there must be adult supervision at all times, 
(5) the solicitation must only take place at non-rush hour times (because rush hour would be too, too dangerous), 
(6) certain intersections are off-limits because they are more dangerous than other intersections, and
(7) the Sheriff's Department can shut down the solicitation at its sole discretion.

All of the above factors indicate knowledge on the part of the County that the solicitation presents a heightened risk of danger.  The County expressly acknowledges this, but then allows it to happen (but not without obtaining written waiver of all liability for themselves).    

I'm all for charitable organizations.  I'm also all for the safety of our citizens.  I'm not saying they are mutually exclusive.  There are reasonable alternatives.  Life is worth more than this.

Mark my words, this practice will be banned the first time a person (though you know it will be child) is injured by a moving car.  Why wait for that to happen?  

Charitable causes are worthy of reasoned debate.  What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

It needs to stop. It is a safety issue. On two occasions, I almost hit someone.
Most are soliciting funds for private interests - youth sporting for the most part. For you: hold a car wash or something and teach your kids to earn money, not beg for it.
For those fireman boot fund drives I am conflicted, those do serve the greater good.

If the county does permit these activities, who is liable for injuries? Is their insurance up to the task?
After all, the “county” is allowing PEOPLE to stand in an active roadway. They should be held lilable. I would like to see the county attorney offer a legal opinion.

Anonymous said...

I wish they would ban it too. It seems like every single Saturday when the weather allows, Hugh Ward and Spillway gets blocked with one sports team or another begging for money. It is a huge aggravation and you are absolutely right - someone is going to get hurt.
(Having said that - I really don't mind the firemen collecting money in their boots once a year. But that's different.)

Anonymous said...

They should all be banned, including the firemen.

Anonymous said...

I was riding down spillway the other day and wanted to swing into Mac's to get some of that good ethanol free PURE gas, and as I moved into the turn lane, I see a woman walk out in front of me with her back turned to me and just stand in the lane with her bucket. Anti lock brakes saved a big hassle and possible injuries for her. I have made it a personal mission to never donate to anyone stupid enough to do this. I'll support the reservoir firefighters in some other way, but will not donate to anyone blocking the flow of traffic and endangering lives in the road.

Anonymous said...

No intersection solicting?
that will put a dent into Swales & Swales

Anonymous said...

What really irks me about most of these fundraisers is that a child's soccer team or glee club or whatever is NOT a charity. Firemen, fine. Breast cancer research, fine. But don't ask me to fund your child's field trip. Don't these people feel awkward blocking a public road, asking complete strangers to give them money for their kid's extracurricular activities? If an unemployed single mom was doing this to legitimately feed and cloth her kids, how long do you think it would be until Rankin S.O. shut her down. FYI, your child's hobby is NOT a charity.

Anonymous said...

One of the things that bothers me about this is that theses people are teaching the kids it's ok to beg for money. What happened to having a car wash or bake sale or anything to earn the needed money.