Motorists in Kent face new fines for throwing litter out of their car, thanks to the introduction of new LitterCams.
£120 Fine for Littering
In a bid to crackdown on litter, Maidstone Borough Council is introducing new measures to help reduce the amount of rubbish dumped on road sides with fines beginning at £90 and rising to £120 if not paid within 15 days.
From April, the council plans to use a LitterCam to seek out and fine drivers. The hope is this will deter people from littering as up until now, the council has relied on wardens catching people in the act.
The LitterCam scheme will present footage and photographic evidence of the number plate of the offender to the council. They will then forward it to the DVLA, who will provide details of the car’s registered keeper so a fine can be issued.
Individuals will be able to check the footage through the LitterCam portal to appeal any fines they think are unjustified.
The scheme is already attracting the attention of Wigan and Sheffield councils and both are looking into introducing the scheme. In addition, Transport Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland also plan to assess how it could reduce littering from cars across Scotland.
So how big a problem is highway litter?
Highways England is responsible for clearing litter from on motorways and a small number of A-roads, and it says that it removes around 200,000 sacks of rubbish every year, so litter is a considerable problem.
Keep Britain Tidy estimate it costs the taxpayer over £850 million a year to clear away litter from our roads and verges, so any measure to crack down on littering would help reduce this costly expense. The money saved could be used to make improvements to the road network and infrastructure.
Highways England’s Freda Rashdi said:
‘Litter is not only unsightly and a risk to wildlife and the environment, but it also puts our workers at risk collecting it and diverts time and money that could be better spent improving the network.’
Litter removed from UK roads includes everything from apple cores and cigarette butts to nappies and coffee cups. It is unsightly and clearing litter from some verges can be dangerous for road workers in areas with a high volume of traffic.
A Risk to Wildlife
Litter also poses a real problem for wildlife in the UK. Not only are animals at risk if they ingest the litter, but a recent study found that as many as 3.2 million voles, shrews and mice die every year after crawling into discarded bottles and cans they cannot escape from. The RSPCA say it receives around 5,000 calls a year relating to issues with animals due to litter.
The good news is the solution to the problem is simple. Bin your litter, and if there is no bin available, take your rubbish home to dispose of it in your general household waste bin.
Invest in a Car Bin
Littering from cars is common as people often don’t have anywhere to put their rubbish once they have finished with the product. If you often find yourself in this situation, why not consider investing in a car bin?
A car bin provides somewhere to put your rubbish while you are on the go, preventing the need for you to throw litter out of your car window.
There are various size and design bins available, from small models that fit your cup holder to larger ones that attach to the back of the seats. Car bins are not expensive and a small one can be picked up for a few pounds.
Your Thoughts on Roadside Litter
What do you think about the tougher measures Maidstone Council plans to introduce to prevent people littering from cars? Do you support the efforts to crack down on littering, or do you think more responsibility lies with the Government to tidy up after us?
Let us know in the comments below.