JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new panhandling ordinance for Onslow County is now in effect.

The county commissioners approved it during their regular meeting on Jan. 19. The ordinance mirrors the one the City of Jacksonville has which states that any person who solicits on public highways or streets is committing a violation.

Some places include bus stops, public transportation facilities, school properties and public libraries. Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller is in full support of the ordinance because of traffic and safety concerns.

“When drivers are at a stoplight or stop sign, they should be focused on safe driving. And then this individual comes up to them. And some, some people felt like they were threatened. So traffic safety. And then also the scamming, that a lot of times was reported to us,” Miller said.

Any person in violation of this ordinance can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and can face a fine of $500 and can receive six months in prison.