Garner Ordinance Curbs Child's Play
Posted May 10, 2002
GARNER, N.C. — If you live in
, you could be breaking the law when you send your kids outside to play.
The town is threatening to hand out tickets to parents who allow their children to play in the street, based on a 1959 ordinance.
Garner police are sending out warnings to residents telling them they could be ticketed if their children are caught playing in the street. Doing so is a misdemeanor.
Many families living in the Brownstone subdivision have portable basketball hoops that they bring out to the front of their driveways so their children can play.
"Quite frankly, the streets are not a safe place to play," said Chief Tom Moss of the Garner Police Department.
Sheryl Sutton, a resident of the subdivision, wants the town ordinance changed to allow kids to play in cul-de-sacs.
"I think we're trying to ban kids from too much. If you don't keep them busy, some of them get in trouble," she said.
Sutton said bought her house in a cul-de-sac so her children would have room to play.
Moss said the ordinance, which bans all types of games in the streets, is based on safety. He even wants to expand it to ban basketball hoops near streets.
"I would rather be standing in front of you defending this ordinance than standing in front of you trying to defend why we allowed a child to get hit by a car," he said.
The police chief suggests parents put basketball hoops in the back yard.
Sutton's children said they are careful, and traffic on their cul-de-sac is not an issue.
There are no public basketball courts at Garner parks.
Several of the town's aldermen said in the past, basketball courts had vandalism problems.
Some city leaders said they do not want kids playing in cul-de-sacs.