Drivers who sling litter from their cars should be fined and given a penalty point on their licence, campaigners urged today.
Keep Britain Tidy said roadsides have become a ‘giant dumping ground’ for food wrappers, cigarette butts and apple cores, and the group wants tougher penalties for offenders.
Research for the charity shows 700,000 bags of rubbish are recovered from English roads each year – and nearly a quarter of people admit to throwing litter from their cars.
Points for littering
Drivers and passengers can already be fined for dropping litter. But Keep Britain Tidy said it can be hard to identify the culprit, particularly if they are travelling at high speed.
It now wants vehicle owners to be fined and given points on their driving licence unless they can provide details of the culprit – something which already happens with speeding tickets.
Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘It needs to be easier to prosecute offenders. The owner should be responsible for the actions of those inside the car. We therefore want the law to go further and see a penalty point put on the licence of those that litter from vehicles.
‘It is one of the most annoying things to see – a lazy driver pulls up at the lights and dumps their litter on the road. Our streets have become a giant dumping ground. Drivers and their passengers too should take their litter home with them.’
The call for tougher penalties marks the start of a new crackdown on litterbugs. Over the next month, Keep Britain Tidy will be working with local councils, educating the public about littering and gathering evidence on those who throw rubbish.
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