A requirement that safety vests be worn by people soliciting money on Washington city streets is a sound safety measure. With the increased traffic on city streets, it can be hazardous for the solicitors.
A popular intersection for street solicitations is the intersection of Jefferson and Fifth streets. It’s one of the more heavily traveled intersections. Traffic lights are put on a flashing red signal when solicitations are sought. That requires a stop for all vehicles. There are other intersections that are hazardous due to narrow streets, and left turn lanes.
City officials indicated at a meeting the past week that wearing safety vests will be part of the permit process. The organizations will have to provide their own vests. This requirement is effective immediately, according to City Administrator Jim Briggs.
Organizations apply for a permit through the parks department. That agency then notifies all of the emergency agencies that a solicitation will be made and where. Solicitors must be 18 years old. A major concern occurred when a solicitor had children in the street when donations were being sought.
This is an important safety measure and the vests will lessen the chances of a solicitor getting hurt.