Tallahassee police have teamed up with the Department of Transportation to put some teeth in the "no panhandling" policy. Panhandlers dot street corners throughout Tallahassee, but motorists we talked to have little sympathy for them and are applauding a new effort to keep them off interstate exit ramps.
"I think if they wanted to get off their butts and go to work they wouldn't have to stand out here and panhandle," says Eddie, a local motorist.
"It's kind of annoying. It could be trouble if one of them got hit or something," adds Claude, another motorist.
New "no trespassing" signs have gone up at the Thomasville Road exit and at the North Monroe Street exit warning panhandlers that they could be arrested if they set up shop there.
"Here at Thomasville and I-10, especially in the morning and afternoons, and you're stopped at a red light for sometime, they have a captive audience and they try to take advantage of that," says Kelly Burke.
Citizen complaints prompted the new no trespassing warnings reports of solicitors weaving in and out of traffic and calls from motorists who felt threatened by aggressive panhandlers. Solicitors who do set up shop on the I-10 exit ramps will be issued a warning first and then if they return, could be arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges.