Provo pursues new methods of panhandling prevention

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PROVO, Utah – The city of Provo is considering an ordinance that would make it illegal to hand money out of a car window to a pedestrian while in traffic.

Provo passed a law last year that prohibits panhandlers from stepping into traffic to collect cash, and now city officials are working to take the law a step forward.

Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman spoke about the idea.

"The current thinking is, again, provide some safety related language in an ordinance form that would prevent someone from actually sticking their hand out the window and giving someone money,” he said.

The Provo City Council discussed the proposed ordinance last week. Norman said the ordinance is focused on safety.

"It wouldn't be just Center Street,” he said. “There are some core focused areas where, again, we have different kind of traffic patterns, and it's causing safety issues.”

Under the new law, both the person giving money and the person receiving it could be cited. In February, the city posted signs encouraging people to choose alternative ways of helping people in need, like donating to charitable organizations.

"There are other organizations in the community if people are looking to donate to those who are less fortunate,” Norman said. “There's United Way. There's the Food and Care Coalition. So, there's resources and people in the area that are willing to help."

The ordinance will be discussed again at a city council meeting on July 30.