Fairfax County could ban panhandling

A Fairfax County supervisor is pushing to ban panhandling on curbs, saying it’s dangerous and poses a threat to public safety.

Most of us have seen panhandlers on curbs and at intersections. They're people asking for money, usually holding a sign.

Some drivers roll down their windows, and give the panhandlers money, whereas others don’t because they feel unsafe.

Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity says panhandling is dangerous for the panhandler, drivers, and he believes someone is going to get hurt.

Fairfax County conducted a panhandling safety study, looking at more than a hundred locations and intersections that have high car accidents. 

The study was unable to specifically determine if panhandling contributes to collisions.

Herrity and Prince William County Supervisor Jeaniene Lawson will hold a regional town hall meeting with the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office to hear from the community about panhandling.

The ACLU has argued that ordinances that ban panhandling violate free speech.

The town hall is scheduled for August 17.