Roadblocks are unsafe; ban them all

Published 12:03 am Thursday, August 16, 2012

The City of Vidalia stopped just short of doing a good thing this week as it voted to draft an ordinance banning fundraising roadblocks inside the city limits.

Banning the practice — which allows people to stand in the middle of the highway and beg for money on behalf of non-profit groups — is a smart thing, particularly in Vidalia.

Almost every year, at least one pedestrian fatality seems to occur on Carter Street — the main drag — in Vidalia.

While most of the deaths have occurred at night, we certainly don’t need to encourage more people to walk in and out of traffic.

The problem is the mayor and board asked that the ordinance to ban the practice include two exceptions for causes near and dear to their hearts.

All of the causes that raise funds in this way are worthy causes, and all of them deserve our community’s support, but it’s not fair to only allow certain groups permission to do something.

If the practice is unsafe and bad for local businesses — business owners complain that customers prefer to drive around the roadblocks, thus curtailing their potential business — then it should be banned for all.

Of all people, our local government leaders should understand that rules must be written fairly and apply to all of us, or they should apply to none of us.

We hope the aldermen will reconsider their plans and ban the practice outright — for everyone’s safety.