Drivers to be fined for littering even if they didn't do it

Ministers are considering a change in the law that would see motorists issued with £80 fixed penalty notices for littering – whether they are responsible for it or not.

The change would be inserted into the Localism Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament.
Council officers would be given the power to issue the fines based on a car's number plate, and if a motorist was unwilling to shop the real culprit they would be liable themselves to pay the money.

Fines can already be issued for littering, but the burden is on the person issuing the fine to identify the person who dropped the litter.

CCTV cameras would also be used to enforce the change in the law.

Clyde Loakes, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association's environment board said that litter louts are currently getting away scot-free, and closing the current loophole should cover some of the £850m needed to keep streets clean.

"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," he added.

The proposals have already been criticised as a cynical attempt to boost finances that are being cut back by increasing the burden on motorists.

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."
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