EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column.
Have you ever observed people taking monetary collections at intersections? We see our local fire department and many more across the country do this every year in an effort to raise money for the “Jerry’ Kids.” In the past few years we have seen in an increase in other groups taking advantage of this, which can create a traffic hazard.
In Texas it is illegal for a pedestrian to be in the roadway, but section 552.0071 of the local transportation code allows local municipalities to authorize this if it is done for a charitable cause.
Groups wishing to do this need to file a written application with the local authority not later than the 11th day before the date the solicitation is to begin. The application must include: the date or dates and times when the solicitation is to occur; each location at which solicitation is to occur; and the number of solicitors to be involved in solicitation at each location.
Just because the state allows charities to do this it does not prohibit the local authority from requiring a permit or charging a reasonable fee.
It also requires the applicant to furnish to the local authority advance proof of liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million to cover damages that may arise from the solicitation.
The insurance must provide coverage against claims against the applicant and claims against the local authority.
There are a few more items, but I have given you the meat and potatoes. These groups that stand out in the road to raise money have to keep from causing a traffic problem.
I know our firefighters do this, but if for some reason you see another group which is causing a problem, please contact us so we can make sure they are not causing a traffic problem and if they have their permit.
Wess Winn holds a master peace officer certification. If you have a Police Beat question for Officer Wess Winn, he may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or call 972-937-9940, Ext. 212. Look for your questions to be answered here in the Waxahachie Daily Light every Sunday or listen to officer Winn’s show on KBEC Radio AM 1390 at 9 a.m. every Monday.