Signs in Virginia ask drivers not to give panhandlers money

Henrico has installed the signs at 10 intersections

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia county has placed signs at busy intersections asking drivers not to give money to people in the medians.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes Henrico County deputy manager Brandon Hinton in a Friday report as saying an increasing number of individuals soliciting in roadways has created some public safety concerns, and the signs have led to at least one panhandler being placed in a homeless shelter.

Henrico has installed the signs at 10 intersections, which also offer a phone number that connects "those who need assistance" with social services.

In 2008, Henrico officials cited safety concerns when passing an ordinance that prohibited solicitation in medians. Robert S. Reynolds challenged the case saying his freedom of speech was violated. Reynolds won at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015.

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