Handbill distributors on the Strip may soon be forced to clean up the area where they’re standing when they pass out their fliers.
Clark County commissioners Tuesday introduced an anti-littering ordinance that would force them to clean up every 15 minutes the area within a 50-foot radius of where they’re standing.
The ordinance would affect the so-called “smut peddlers,” as well as nightclub operators and time share marketers, among others.
A public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 7. There was no discussion about the measure Tuesday.
The proposal would make both handbill distributors and passers-by responsible for littering regardless of who hands out the literature or accepts it as they walk by.
The punishment could be a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
State law already makes littering a misdemeanor.
The proposal would be the first time county officials have passed a littering law.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly has said he supports the proposal but believes making the county code change a misdemeanor might be too strong a punishment.
The idea has been met with mixed emotions by handbill distributors.
Some say it could be bad for business because they could lose customers while they are picking up trash.
Others say they should not be responsible for picking up other people’s trash .
Some handbillers say the change is a positive because it keeps the world-famous stretch of real estate between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue clean and attractive to tourists.
The ordinance contends that requiring handbillers to pick up their areas when leaflets are discarded in their presence “does not significantly impact the distributor’s ability to exercise First Amendment freedoms and provides a needed service to the community.”
Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for the American Liberties Union of Nevada, has said he believes the proposal is unenforceable because it’s “trying to penalize one person for somebody else’s actions.”
Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at
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