That’s rubbish! Drivers to be fined £150 for littering… even if PASSENGERS throw garbage out of car window

Litter louts face tougher penalties than speeding drivers! People who throw trash from a car window face £150 on-the-spot fine in new litter crackdown

New laws mean motorists could pay maximum fines for litter hurled onto roads

Motorists will now be fined for littering, even if a passenger dumps rubbish from a window under tough new laws.

Maximum on-the-spot penalties have almost doubled from £80 to £150 under updated council powers which were brought in on Easter Sunday.

The crackdown comes as the Government tries to clear up the UK’s grass verges of cigarette ends, discarded disposable cups, crisp packets and other fast food wrappings.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: ‘These new fines will tackle anti-social behaviour by hitting litter louts in the pockets, whether it’s litter thrown from a vehicle or dropped in the street.

Littering is a scourge on our environment and we waste taxpayers’ money cleaning it up.’ The move has raised fears that cash-strapped councils will use the new penalties to make money, by employing private firms to pursue offenders.

Edmund King, president of the AA, warned: ‘It needs to be enforced with common sense. Someone getting something out of their pocket and a tiny piece of paper dropping out is not littering. Similarly a small child might throw something from a car. There should be discretion in the appeals system.’

Under the plan, enforcement officers will chase up registered owners of vehicles reported for littering.

Allison Ogden-Newton, of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘Despite raised awareness of the impact of littering, far too many people still drop litter. Education, campaigning and effective enforcement are absolutely critical if we are to change behaviour and make littering socially unacceptable.’

Police Community Support Officers, Environment Agency and conservation area officials will also have powers to fine culprits, though anyone under the age of ten is exempt. The minimum penalty for litter crime will be £50, rising to £65 from April next year.

The new maximum fine of £150 is higher than the fixed penalty of £100 for speeding.

Ministers want ‘litter police’ to use the new fines fairly after reports of over-zealous actions by private enforcement firms, such as the case reported last week of a woman threatened with a £75 fine for emptying a stone from her shoe. The Mail on Sunday previously revealed how one company, Kingdom Security, was issuing 100 fines a day for often trivial offences.

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