New bill proposes that the car owners could be fined if they or some of their passengers are caught throwing away litter through the car.
According to new plans, car owners could be held responsible for littering. Many people throw away litter form their car`s windows and this is quite common among drivers, however it costs the local councils a significant amount of money to clean up the roads after that. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) claims that during 2011, over £860 million were spent to clean up litter on smaller roads.
Currently, people who use their car`s windows as a recycle bin can face fined fines of up to £80.00. Unfortunately, such kind of fines are difficult to enforce, as quite often the local councils struggle to prove, who is actually responsible for the litter.
However, if the new proposals come true , local councils will have the right to fine the registered owner of the car, without being necessary to prove who was responsible. The good news for all drivers with passengers, used to throw litter from the comfort of their car seats, is that now the car owner will be able to nominate the responsible party to pay the fine.
The Private Member’s Bill is being tabled by Suffolk Conservative peer Lord Marlesford, who says that English roads were among the worst in Europe in terms of litter, and said that he wanted “action, not words” from Parliament.
If the new proposal is accepted the local authorities will have to report to the public how much they spent on cleaning up the roads and who was contracted to do it. In addition to that, they need to make sure that the public is satisfied by the result. He also added, “That will enable people to complain about dirty roads direct to local authorities or to contractors.”
Lord Marlesford’s proposal was accepted very positively by Samantha Harding from the CPRE. She add: “If people think they can toss litter from their cars, councils should have an effective way to fine them and that’s what this bill delivers.”
Caroline Spelman – Environment Secretary and AA also welcomed the bill. However a spokesman for AA mentioned that drivers’ rights would need to be protected. “Our only concern would be to make sure there are rights of appeal.”