Ministers consider a clampdown on car litter
04 May 2011
Our plea to strengthen legislation around littering from cars has been given a boost this week as ministers are considering changing the law as part of the Localism Bill that is currently going through Parliament.
The debate has been widely reported in the media and could mean that drivers are to face automatic £80 fines if litter is thrown from their vehicles – even if one of their passengers is to blame.
The news has sparked a reaction from organisations such as the Taxpeyers’ Alliance who believe that this is another tax on motorists. Feeling from the public was conveyed on Facebook.
Mark Anthoney Dale said: “Drivers should be responsible for the activities of their passengers as well as their own. Enforcement teams that try to trace passengers and drivers of vehicles that throw litter are frustrated by the lack of legislation and the ease the offenders can avoid penalties.”
Phil Barton chief executive, keep Britain Tidy said: "Our research shows that people throw litter from their cars because they feel they will not be seen and they won’t be caught. We believe that amending the enforcement section of the Localism Bill to include a reference to the specific issue of vehicle related litter, where the owner of the vehicle is held responsible for littering, will provide a deterrent for drivers and their passengers who may otherwise be inclined to litter.
"Amending the current legislation will also give local authorities further means to tackle the growing problem of roadside litter."
The Local Government Association also supports the call. Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman of the LGA’s Environment Board, said: "Why should hundreds of millions of pounds of council taxpayers money be spent every year clearing up after these lazy litter louts? The nation’s roads are blighted with fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts and empty bottles, but councils are hamstrung when it comes to taking action against thoughtless individuals dropping rubbish. As well as being unsightly, road litter is difficult, costly and dangerous to remove as it requires staff to stand on or by the side of a carriageway putting them at risk from oncoming traffic.
"At a time when councils are having to provide vital services to residents on increasingly stretched budgets, this is an expense they can ill afford. Being able to crackdown on this issue will mean more money available to plough into frontline services like care for the elderly, protecting vulnerable children and keeping the streets safe."
Littering from cars is a nationwide problem – almost a quarter of people admit to dropping litter from their vehicle - affecting roads in rural and urban locations.
Keep Britain Tidy believes the Localism Bill presents a unique opportunity for the Government to show they share our concern for stopping the careless few spoiling our country's road junctions, roundabouts, country lanes and laybys.
Join the debate today on our Facebook page and tell us what you think
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