Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.
Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.
The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.
The Associated Firefighters of Illinois had called for the legislation after some communities started banning the roadside collections, citing safety hazards.
One of the oldest roadside charity drives is organized by the International Association of Firefighters. It collects money in firefighters' boots for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.