Knoxville Lawmakers Pass Ordinance Banning Street Donations

By: Kelli Parker
By: Kelli Parker

Knoxville (WVLT) - We've all seen them, Shriners, firefighters, even church members standing on the roads in busy intersections collecting money, but Tuesday night the Knoxville City Council took the first step to stop those donation drives on public streets.

The City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday banning the practice. Council members say it's for safety reasons and because they've received several calls from people who have witnessed a close call during the events, but for members of the Shriners organization who rely on these donation drives for nearly 40 percent of their budget, the ruling is a devastating blow.

I don't like knee jerk reactions to things there not been any type of incident in regard to this we think certainly there are ways to address it we don't feel like it's a safety concern we've complied with the ordinance up to this point currently wearing of safety and reflective and protective gear and being respectful of traffic," said Scott Jones, the Kerbela Shriners Legal Council.

City Council members will have a final vote in two weeks. The he ban would go into effect 17 days from the final vote.

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  • by Chris on Oct 25, 2007 at 01:00 PM
    Ditto to Susan. It is not necessary to have folks endanger their lives nor the lives of drivers to be a distraction on the road. It takes every ounce of brain power for some of us to keep the driving safely for most in our minds. Of course there are some who can do the acrobatics of cell phone talking, gawking around, and dodging what ever is in their way and maybe eating ,combing their hair, putting on make up, you name it- one more distraction evidently makes no difference.
  • by maggie nola on Oct 24, 2007 at 02:33 PM
    hip hip hoo-RAY. There is NO SENSE in these folks standing IN THE MIDDLE of the road to get donations. THAT IS NOT SAFE. We tell our kids to stay out of the road, then we drive around with them buckled in until they're 90 pounds watching grown adults stand in the middle of the road with only a FEZ as protective gear.
  • by Sherry Location: East TN on Oct 24, 2007 at 11:33 AM
    I think this is sad, first because some orginizations are going to lose much needed monies and second that just a few people have so much control over our daily lives. In fact it is a little scary that 'strangers' can control your lives in this way. For instance, Shriners have been on these corners for years and no incidences have taken place. I have a sneaky feeling a few 'chosen' complained because they got held up in traffic for a couple of extra seconds and complained about this. It is sad that a few cannot be inconvienienced for the good of many.
  • by Susan Location: East TN on Oct 23, 2007 at 11:22 PM
    I do support the council's decision. I used to live in South Florida where almost every intersection had people soliciting- softball teams,church groups, cheerleaders, anything you can think of. All it takes is one accident, one horrible accident. Our roads are just too congested and people too distracted now-a-days to have solicitors standing in the streets. Oh, and do you really know where that money is going? Firemen in South Florida used the money they collected in their boots for the 9/11 victims to fund their trip to a SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT!!!


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