An ordinance amending Article 13 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws to prohibit soliciting employment within the right-of-way.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council has the authority pursuant to Section 2.01 of the Metropolitan Charter and the general laws of the state of Tennessee to enact ordinances protecting and promoting the general welfare, health, and safety of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, §12.52.130 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws currently prohibits persons standing on a roadway from soliciting employment or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle; and

WHEREAS, large groups of persons congregate within the public right-of-way in certain areas of Nashville to solicit employment, business or contributions from the occupants of vehicles; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council has determined that the solicitation of employment or contributions within the public right-of-way compromises the safety of pedestrians and motorists using the public right-of-way by distracting drivers from their primary duty of paying attention to the road; and

WHEREAS, distracted drivers are more prone to automobile accidents, which endangers the safety of other motorists and pedestrians alike; and

WHEREAS, the practice of soliciting employment or contributions from occupants of vehicles, as well as occupants of vehicles soliciting persons standing in the right-of-way for employment, further impedes the flow of traffic and results in congestion and blockage of the streets, driveways to parking lots, and sidewalks when such persons approach the vehicles; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council desires to amend the Metropolitan Code of Laws to prohibit the solicitation of employment, business, or contributions within the public right-of-way in an effort to protect the safety and welfare of the citizens of Nashville and Davidson County; and

WHEREAS, it is not the intent of this ordinance to suppress any speech activities protected by the First Amendment, but to enact a content neutral time, place and manner restriction that is narrowly tailored to address the secondary effects of solicitations within the public right-of-way.


Section 1. That Article 13 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws be and is hereby amended by adding the following new Chapter 13.22 "SOLICITATION OF EMPLOYMENT":


13.22.010 Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:
(1) Actively solicit shall mean solicitation accompanied by action intended to attract the attention of a person in a vehicle traveling in the street which action may include, but is not limited to, waiving arms, making hand signals, shouting to someone in a vehicle, jumping up and down, waiving signs pointed so as to be readable by persons in vehicles, quickly approaching nearer to vehicles, standing close to the curb facing vehicles in the roadway, and entering the roadway portion of a street.
(2) Employment shall mean and include services, industry or labor performed by a person for wages, or other compensation or under any contract of hire, written, oral, express or implied.
(3) Right-of-way shall mean all of the area dedicated to public use for public street purposes and shall include, but not be limited to, roadways, highways, medians, alleys, sidewalks, driveways, and curbs.
(4) Solicit shall mean and include any request, offer, enticement, or action which announces the availability for or of employment, the sale of goods, or other request for funds; or any request, offer, enticement or action which seeks to purchase or secure goods or employment, or to make a contribution of money. As defined herein, a solicitation shall be deemed complete when made whether or not an actual employment relationship is created, a transaction is completed, or an exchange of money takes place.
(5) Traveling along a street shall mean a vehicle being operated on a street, excluding vehicles lawfully parked at the edge of a street or temporarily, lawfully stopped at a marked passenger loading zone.

13.22.020 Prohibition of solicitation in the public right-of-way.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to stand on a street or within the public right-of-way and actively solicit employment, business, or contributions from any person in a motor vehicle traveling along a street or standing within the public right-of-way.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person in a vehicle traveling along a street to solicit employment of any person standing on a street or within the public right-of-way.

Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its enactment, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Carl Burch


Introduced: July 19, 2005
Passed First Reading: July 19, 2005
Referred to: Public Works Committee
Public Safety Committee
Deferred to September 20, 2005: August 2, 2005
Substitute Introduced: September 20, 2005
Passed Second Reading: September 20, 2005 
Deferred to November 15, 2005: September 20, 2005
Deferred Indefinitely: November 15, 2005
Withdrawn: August 21, 2007