The prevalence of squeegee kids in Baltimore is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed (“‘Scary’ on both sides of the windshield: Squeegee kid debate divides Baltimore,” Oct. 16). However, despite the well intentioned concerns for our city youth’s well-being and the well-meaning efforts to tolerate and cope with the squeegee activity, posting guards is not the way to go. According to Maryland transportation law, a person may not stand in the road to solicit business. That, in my opinion, makes the squeegee operation illegal.
The Downtown Partnership, in employing guards to oversee this illegal operation, is unwittingly inviting a “vicarious liability” lawsuit. When participants get injured, or worse, because a car hits them during a guard-monitored squeegee operation (one of the reasons there is a law prohibiting it), will the Downtown Partnership (and Baltimore City, that “allowed” it) get sued because there will be a presumption of implied consent as the guards “allowed” such illegal activity? Perhaps one may think the law does not or should not apply here. But I doubt the parent of an affected child will think so.
In a disturbing societal trend, like so many issues today, it seems increasingly acceptable to ignore the law (even by our own lawmakers) if it suits one’s agenda. The irony is that the “guards” employed to monitor this revenue generating activity will probably make more than the squeegee kids make.
Scott Richardson, Westminster
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