Breaking News
More () »

Panhandling crackdown in Lake City with new pedestrian safety ordinance

Direct interaction between pedestrians and drivers or passengers of motor vehicles will be illegal along certain roads and intersections, LCPD said.
Credit: Atyia

LAKE CITY, Fla. — On Tuesday, the Lake City Police Department issued a new pedestrian safety ordinance aimed at dealing with safety issues between pedestrians and vehicles, especially on arterial roadways LCPD Sergeant Mike Lee said via press release. 

"All direct interaction between pedestrians and operators or occupants of motor vehicles will now be prohibited on the travel portion of an arterial road or in a high risk intersection," Sgt. Lee said.

The City of Lake City passed Ordinance 2022-2220, effective in 2022, Sgt. Lee said. The ordinance arrives on the heels of a traffic safety study presented to the City Council outlining hazards pedestrians face when they interact with vehicles.

The ordinance includes, but is not limited to, "handing or delivering any object from a vehicle to a pedestrian or vice versa. 'Arterial roads' in Lake City are defined as US Highways 90 (Duval St), 41 (Main Blvd), and 441 (Marion Ave) as well as State Road 10a (Baya Drive). 'High risk' intersections are identified as any intersection on an arterial road that is controlled by a traffic control device, extending outward along the intersecting road for a distance of 200 yards."

The first and second offense will result in citations with fines of $100 - $175 plus court costs. Those who break the ordinance a third time commit a misdemeanor crime and are subject to arrest, Sgt Lee said.

“We'll begin with an education and warning period, followed by enforcement," LCPD Chief Gerald Butler said. "This ordinance is one step towards improving the safety of those walking along our roads. By population, Lake City ranks as the seventh worst municipality in the State for bicycle / pedestrian crashes."

All persons in violation of the ordinance are subject to enforcement, including both pedestrians and anyone inside a vehicle who interacts with a pedestrian, within the specified intersections and roads, Sgt. Lee said. 

“We understand that as a side effect of this ordinance, for the sake of their own safety, those people seeking donations of any sort from the side of the road are unable to do so," Chief Butler said. "Vehicles are welcome to pull off the road into a safe area such as a parking lot to interact with pedestrians. Or, better yet, put their donations to the best use by donating to the Florida Coalition to End Homelessness by dialing 2-1-1.”


Before You Leave, Check This Out