Per Montgomery County:

Councilmember Craig Rice introduced Bill 15-21, Solicitation of Vehicle Occupants in High-Speed Roadways – Permit, which would require a person to have a permit to solicit from occupants in vehicles on a roadway with a speed limit that exceeds 25 miles per hour.

View Councilmember Rice’s comments on the introduction of Bill 15-21 here.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 40 percent of pedestrians die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour, and approximately 80 percent die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour. Two fatalities of this nature have occurred in Montgomery County in Wheaton and Germantown.

“I am intent on not seeing another senseless death due to solicitation from our medians or unsafe pedestrian entry into our roadways,” said Councilmember Craig Rice. “We all have seen the precarious situations of someone on a median while cars drive by at high speeds or being out in the roadway as the light changes. This bill does not criminalize roadside solicitation but rather ensures that anyone who wishes to solicit in this manner must obtain a permit and receive safety rules as well as information on County resources that may prevent the need for roadside solicitation.”

The permit would be made available through the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and at homeless shelters across the County. There would be no fee associated with the permit, which will be valid for one year before requiring renewal. Along with the permit, applicants will also be provided with educational materials that identify the risks of roadside solicitation, as well as essential safety rules for pedestrians. Information on County resources as an alternative to roadside solicitation will also be made available to permit applicants.

A public hearing for this legislation is scheduled for May 11 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report on Bill 15-21, Solicitation of Vehicle Occupants in High-Speed Roadways – Permit can be viewed here.


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