Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Street Vending

In other cities nationwide, solicitation in roadways or medians between two roadways has resulted in death or serious injury to pedestrians engaged in the activity. For instance, in Memphis, on two separate occasions, street vendors were struck and killed by automobiles. Failure to enforce such laws could result in death or serious injury in Indianapolis. It is not the intention of law enforcement to interfere or impede the work of any organization. General Ordinance No. 356, 2001 and IC 35-42-2-4 have been enacted to protect pedestrians, solicitors and motorists from injury or death resulting from such activities.

IC 35-42-2-4 prohibits persons from obstructing vehicular traffic. Violators of the state law are subject to arrest. General Ordinance No. 356, 2001 prohibits persons from using roadways or medians between two roadways for the purposes of solicitation. It does not apply to persons who use sidewalks, parking lots and other public places for solicitation, provided the person is not obstructing vehicular traffic or is not violating other city ordinances or state or federal laws. Violators of the ordinance are subject to a ticket and a fine.

As with all policies implemented and enforced by IMPD, this enforcement policy will be applied equally to all persons violating the ordinance and state law, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, without exception, in all IMPD districts. The enforcement policy will be applied equally to all charitable organizations, schools, student organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, for-profit or not-for-profit organizations and other citizens.

Indianapolis - Marion County Municipal Code
Section 431-702.
Prohibited Activity in Roadways. It shall be unlawful for a pedestrian to sit, stand or move within or upon a roadway, or a median between two roadways, for the purpose of or while engaged in:

  1. Soliciting, peddling, selling, advertising, donating, or distributing any product, property, or service, including but not limited to tickets, handbills, newspapers, or other printed material, to or from an occupant of a vehicle in the roadway; or,
  2. Conversation or discourse with an occupant of a vehicle in the roadway

Section 431-703. Interference With Vehicular Traffic. It shall be unlawful for a person to solicit, peddle, sell, advertise, donate, or distribute any product, property, or service, including but not limited to tickets, handbills, newspapers, or other printed material, to an occupant of a vehicle within or upon a roadway, or to engage in conversation or discourse with an occupant of a vehicle within or upon a roadway, so as to:

  1. Endanger the safety or welfare of an occupant of a vehicle within or upon a roadway, or a pedestrian within the immediate vicinity;
  2. Impede the free flow of vehicular traffic on the roadway; or,
  3. Obstruct or distract the view of the driver of any such vehicle within or upon a roadway.

Indiana Code
IC 35-42-2-4. Obstructing Traffic.

    (a) A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic commits obstruction of traffic, a Class B misdemeanor.

    (b) The offense described in subsection (a) is:

    1. a Class A misdemeanor if the offense includes the use of a motor vehicle; and
    2. a Class D felony if the offense results in serious bodily injury.


Enforcement and Consequences

  • Violating this ordinance will result in vendor being issued a summons
  • A court appearance will be required
  • A fine of up to $2,500.00 could be imposed
  • Continued violations following the issuance of a summons may result
    in further summons or custodial arrest

Identification Requirements
If an officer observes a violation, the violator must provide name, address, and date of birth or drivers license to the officer upon request.  Failure to provide identification is a violation of Indiana Code 34-28-5-3.5. Refusing to provide identification for an infraction or ordinance violation may result in an arrest.