After a move to stop children from soliciting in the streets hit a roadblock, the Philadelphia City Council is cracking down on the practice with increased penalties.
A bill passed in the City Council Thursday, and introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, aims to prevent minors from peddling goods or soliciting money by mandating fines for adults responsible for minors who peddle goods or solicit money in the streets.
Those adults would be issued a notice of violation for $300. The current penalty is $100.
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Legislation passed in 2007 “puts the issue of a notice of violation for street peddling at the discretion of the officer present,” according to a release from Brown, but it did little to deter the practice.
“When we see 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds, coming up in major intersections unsupervised, no parental supervision, and no responsible adult present, for me that raises a safety issue. The last thing anyone wants is for an accident to happen, or for a child to be injured or killed. Then we will be in the ‘wish we should have, could have' frame of mind,” Brown said in statement.
“In 2007, we allowed police officers to enforce current street peddling laws at their discretion, but not one single violation was issued,” she added. “Given that information, it is clear we must re-ignite this dialogue and work with the police department to achieve a paradigm shift that includes public awareness in their policies regarding street peddling. Doing nothing is not acceptable.”