Volunteers can’t stand in the road and collect for charities

People representing charities and nonprofits who stand in roadways to collect money from drivers are concerned after the Michigan attorney general said the solicitations aren’t legal.

Attorney General Bill Schuette recently gave a formal opinion to a lawmaker, saying Michigan’s traffic code doesn’t allow it.

Portage and Texas Township firefighters canceled a fundraiser this week in Texas Township, near Kalamazoo, MLive.com reported. They typically would stand in the road and collect donations in a rubber boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“Knowing that ahead of time,” township Fire Chief Chad Tackett said of Schuette’s opinion, “you can’t just say we’re going to go for it anyways.”

But Monty Nye of the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union believes some firefighters elsewhere in Michigan will collect money unless a local government says no.

“We’ve been doing this 63 years and now, in his opinion, we’re illegal?” Nye said of the attorney general. “We’re hoping he’ll see something and say, ‘You know what, there is some room here.'”

In Lansing, firefighter Dennis Rodeman was struck and killed by a driver last year while collecting money in a street. A man charged in the case so far has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.  (AP)

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