Littering drivers to face fines up to £150

Littering drivers to face fines up to £150
Drivers caught throwing rubbish from their car window will face fines of up to £150 from next spring, the Government has announced.

In a strong move to tackle the “unacceptable, anti-social” behaviour, councils will soon also be able to impose fines on the owners of vehicles from which litter was thrown, even if it was discarded by a passenger.

The RAC called the new legislation a “shrewd move” from the Government but warned that as ever, the key to success will lie in effective enforcement.

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The maximum, on-the-spot fines facing litter louts will almost double from their current cap of £80 from April 2018.

The so-called default fine will rise from £75 to £100, while the minimum fine is set to increase from £50 to £65, the Environment Department (Defra) confirmed.

It isn’t the only law change the Government potentially has in its pipeline – it is also being strongly urged to consider lowering the legal limit for alcohol levels in the blood in a bid to deter drink drivers.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “This news will be welcomed by law-abiding motorists who care about the environment. More than half (51%) of motorists surveyed for this year’s RAC Report on Motoring felt that the condition of local roads had got worse in the last year and a quarter of those believed the amount of roadside litter had increased.

“Clamping down on motoring litter louts through a combination of higher penalties and making the owner liable for a fine if someone is spotted littering from their vehicle is potentially a shrewd move from the Government.

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“However, as with motoring laws, such as speeding and using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel, penalties are only as effective as the level of enforcement. As a civil offence littering might be easier to enforce more widely as it does not require the offender to be identified to a criminal standard of proof.”

The Government is keen any new powers are not abused simply to raise money, so guidance on applying the penalty notices will be issued. Efforts to clean up the streets and countryside currently come at a cost of £800 million each year to the taxpayer.

The new legislation, which is still subject to parliamentary approval, will be introduced by the end of this year with the intention of becoming law by April.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.