Drivers to face £80 littering fines

British motorists could soon have to worry about more than just speed cameras because officials plan to fine anyone throwing rubbish from their vehicle.

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Government ministers plan to charge drivers an automatic £80 fine for littering even if a passenger is the offending party.

Under the proposal, council officers would take note of the number plates of offending vehicles and a penalty sent directly to the car's registered owner, while evidence could also be taken from CCTV cameras.

Drivers issues with the fine will have to pay up unless they identify the guilty party and those who refuse to pay could end up in a magistrates' court where the fine could mount up to £2,500.

Though throwing litter from a car is already an offence, local authorities say it is almost impossible to enforce - the proposed plan would change all that.

Environmental campaigners have long pushed for such a move but critics say a littering fine will become just another "cash cow" for local councils.

Clyde Loakes, of the Local Government Association, told the Daily Mail: "It's time to get tough on lazy, selfish people who toss rubbish from moving cars and expect other people to cover the cost of cleaning it up.

"Getting tough on people who drop rubbish on our carriageways is one way to tackle a problem which is costly, difficult and dangerous to clean up."

It is estimated that more than two million items of litter are dropped by Brits each day and, in some areas, motorists account for 70 per cent of that figure. According to a survey by the Keep Britain Tidy Group, a fifth of those polled admitted to lobbing rubbish from their vehicle.

But the proposal will not be without opposition.

Charlotte Linacre, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Motorists are already overtaxed. Councils have to make necessary spending cuts and there's plenty of fat to trim, they shouldn't look to plug gaps in their finances by ramping up charges on taxpayers."

What do you think? Will the proposed fines simply end up as a local council "cash cow"? Leave your comments below...