Monday, 6 July 2015

Time to change the law on car littering?

The Local Government Association has called on the government to change the law on littering from cars. At the moment it is hugely difficult to prosecute when someone throws litter from a car. Not only do you have to see it happen, but you have to identify who in the car is responsible and prosecute them as an individual.

Councils now want to change the law to match what happens in London where it is the owner of the vehicle who is responsible.

Cornwall relies on visitors for a huge section of its economy. And if our roads and verges are covered in litter then we run the risk of losing tourist business. So any change that makes it easier to fine (and thereby discourage) littering is good news.

But we cannot simply ask for a change in the law and expect everything to be better. The council also needs to sensibly use the powers it already has to investigate littering and fly-tipping and to prosecute where it can.

Ultimately, we need to explain to residents, businesses and visitors alike that littering costs the council (and therefore taxpayers) a lot of money which could be saved if people either used the bins provided or took their rubbish home with them.

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