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Roadblocks are a quick way for non-profit groups to fundraise – and raise awareness of their cause. Those coins and dollars donated by motorists have helped with cancer research, Project Graduation, Crusade for Children and countless other charities.
Roadblocks also can be dangerous as adults and sometimes children – with nothing but a plastic bucket for protection – share busy intersections with automobiles.
Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson believes more can be done to ensure the safety of all involved.
“If someone were injured, it could fall back on the City,” Johnson said.
He plans to ask City Council to pass an ordinance regulating roadblocks. Groups will be required to apply for a no-cost permit in advance and agree to several safety requirements.
The permit also will prevent groups from “overlapping” at intersections.
“It doesn’t happen very often but we’ve had groups go to an intersection to collect and there is already another group there,” Johnson said.
Most importantly, the ordinance will place an age limit on those collecting donations at intersections and require safety equipment be worn by anyone standing on the roadway.
The ordinance, which has not been heard by City Council, may include the following stipulations:
• Groups who want to conduct a roadblock must apply for a no-cost permit at Hodgenville City Hall at least 15 days before the fundraiser.
• The nature of the fundraiser and names of those participating must be supplied to City Hall.
• Signs must be placed at the intersection informing the public of the fundraiser.
• No one under age 18 may participate in a roadblock.
• All participants in roadblocks must wear a reflective vest, according to federal law.
• Each person collecting donations at the intersection must sign a waiver agreeing to the safety features and releasing the city from responsibility for safety.
• City officers will have authority “to shut down” the collection at the intersection if the ordinance is not being followed.
City Clerk MaDonna Hornback and City Attorney Mary Gaines Locke are working on the ordinance.