Guam steps up crackdown on panhandling on street corners
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam authorities will boost efforts to "actively enforce" the law prohibiting panhandling at all road intersections, the Office of the Attorney General announced today.
The OAG has teamed up with the Guam Police Department and the Guam Mayor’s Council to enforce the Aggressive Panhandling Act of 2013.
"Guam law prohibits panhandling on traffic medians, and limits the use of the sidewalks around road intersections," the OAG said. "The intent of this joint enforcement initiative is to not only enforce all of Guam’s laws, but to achieve the legislative intent to protect panhandlers, pedestrians and motorists alike from injuries associated with traffic intersections."
On Feb. 28, Sen. Roy Anthony Benavente Quinata introduced a bill that would repeal a section in the law that provides exemptions to the panhandling ban.
The intent of Bill 58-37 prohibits persons from soliciting money upon government property at and around intersections or nearby roadways.
The current law allows panhandling at "intersections with traffic control
signals or stop signs in place." The law requires the solicitors to wear an orange vest with reflective material on both front and back," and to place warning signs within 100 of oncoming traffic warning drivers of the person’s activity."
“With the overarching goal of our island’s public safety, this measure seeks to restrict panhandling activities at traffic intersections and near roadways," Quinata said.
"This limits distractions from motorists and pedestrians alike as they can become more mindful of their surroundings. By taking these precautions, we are promoting a safer environment for both drivers and citizens," he added.