The Hot Springs city board Tuesday adopted an ordinance banning panhandling of motorists in the public right of way. The Sentinel-Record reports.
Violators will get a warning the first time, then be subject to a citation that could carry a penalty of up to $500 and a year in jail. In addition to banning solicitation of money, the measure bans distribution of material in the right of way.
Is it a solicitation to carry a sign saying “Will Work for Food,” then accept a proffered gift from a sympathetic motorist?
UPDATE: I’m informed this ordinance is a response to a judge’s finding that a state law banning begging was unconstitutional in throwing out a prosecution in Hot Springs. Several lawyers remain skeptical that the new ordinance passes muster.