Albuquerque City Council approves panhandling ordinance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque City Council is prohibiting panhandlers from soliciting motorists at medians and sidewalks and making it illegal for motorists to physically interact with them.

An ordinance approved Monday night also bars so-called boot brigades that firefighters sometimes engage in to raise money from motorists, a Brownie trying to sell cookies to motorists or any other activity when drivers are being asked to interact with a pedestrian.

It won’t apply in instances where motorists can pull over into street side parking.

City Councilor Trudy Jones, who sponsored the measure, told the Albuquerque Journal that the ordinance is aimed at making streets safer.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has questioned the measure’s constitutionality and argues people have a right to stand in public to solicit.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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