Columbus Police Hope Signs Curb Panhandling on Exit Ramps

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Police in Ohio’s capital are hoping panhandlers who seek donations from drivers at freeway exits will be deterred by some new signs placed in targeted locations that note panhandling is prohibited in such areas.

Authorities say it’s a safety concern for both the pedestrians and motorists in Columbus.

New signs have appeared around the city over the last few weeks at exit ramps. The signs say panhandling is illegal citywide, but officials say the effort targets freeway exit ramps.

Police requested the city install them to help prevent crashes and because they say panhandlers living under an Interstate 670 bridge have caused trash to pile up.

Panhandlers on the freeway can be cited. The penalties increase if they receive more citations and can result in jail time.