Ban on Sleeping in Cars Now in Effect

“We often find toilet paper and other items,” said Bebe Pearson.

The so-called “Van-lifers” and homeless people living out of their vehicles have a new law to follow in San Diego County.

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council approved the mayor’s new proposed ban on San Diegans sleeping in their vehicles in a 6-3 vote. The new ban on vehicle habitation prevents people from staying in their vehicle where overnight parking is not allowed, including outside businesses, near the beach and on city streets. Faulconer’s proposal also included the expansion of designated parking lots for those who sleep in their cars.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Bebe Pearson, whose mother-in-law owns a home along Sunset Cliffs. “We are very happy just because, again, of all the things we have seen.”

Pearson spends most of her time caring for her mother-in-law who has been living in Sunset Cliffs for the last five decades.

The Pearson’s shared with NBC 7 the waste, the noise, the trash they have had to clean-up from disrespectful people who live out of their vehicles in front of their home and park there overnight.

“We often find toilet paper and other items,” said Pearson. “We had an incident where someone left some food containers on my mother-in-law’s patio.”

Pearson said it’s a health issue for their family. They were happy to know about the San Diego City Council vote on Tuesday.

“It’s safer now,” said Pearson. “I feel bad that they don’t have a place to go, but something needed to change.”

As of this week, people cannot sleep in their vehicles between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. within 500-feet of a residence or school.

The San Diego police have already started enforcing the new ban. They are not handing out citations yet, but when they do, it will be a misdemeanor charge. The first couple weeks, SDPD captain Scott Wahl said they will be educating those in violation and giving them warnings before giving citations.

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