Councils to fine car owners who litter
Councils in England and Wales are calling for the power to fine individuals who throw litter from their vehicles. These powers would match those already in place in London.
Councils argue that clearing litter from the roads is often dangerous and expensive, and on top of that the problem is spiralling out of control. Some 80 tonnes of rubbish was picked up from A-roads in North Hertfordshire last year according to the Local Government Association, and around 23% of motorists have admitted to throwing rubbish out of their vehicle.
Although littering is already a criminal offence which can incur a fine, under the Environmental Protection Act, it is proven to be notoriously difficult to prosecute those who litter from a vehicle as it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt which particular individual discarded of the rubbish from the vehicle, which is very difficult to do. In London motorists can face fines of up to £100 if they are caught littering, and this has been enforced since 18th June 2012. The way it works in London is that the owner of the vehicle or pedicab is liable to pay the fine, regardless of whoever it was travelling in the vehicle that littered.
In a survey conducted about the subject, ninety three percent of respondents said that litter gave a negative impression of Britain and 58% of respondents said that they loathed those who litter, and called for tough penalties such as points on their driving licence, large fines or community sentences. Those who are not in favour of the action raise the objection that those who accidentally litter could be unfairly penalised, such as the mother whose child throws something from the car or those who drop something on the ground by accident.