Litter lout drivers face £60 fines if rubbish is thrown from vehicle windows - even by someone else
Drivers face being be clobbered with £60 fines if litter is thrown from their car windows – even if a passenger was to blame.
Ministers have lost patience with the infuriating sight of rubbish being casually tossed out of vehicles by shameless car users and are planning to take action.
Whitehall sources say prosecuting such cases can sometimes prove difficult as the specific culprit inside a vehicle can be hard to identify.
So Ministers are now set to give councils tough new powers to automatically punish the registered car owner. It will be down to car owners to either convince the culprit to come forward or cough up the cash themselves.
For the first time councils will only have to prove someone’s guilt on the balance of probabilities to issue the automatic fine, rather than the usual ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ test.
While town halls will be able to set their own fines, Government sources are backing a model used by Wandsworth council in London which fines littering motorists £60, rising to £200 if the penalty is not paid in 28 days.
A draft version of the Government’s new littering strategy, leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, also reveals plans to hike the standard £75 littering fine - possibly as high as £125.
Town halls will be offered new guidance on where bins should be located in town centres - a so-called ‘binfrastructure’ revolution. And council chiefs will also be encouraged to draw up lists of local littering ‘hot spots’ where resources can be targeted.
Other likely measures include forcing chewing gum companies to offer advice on how to clean gum litter off the streets, and setting up a new panel of packaging experts to propose ways littering can be discouraged.
A spokesman at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “Dropping litter is a selfish and antisocial act that blights communities.
“That is why we are working on new measures to deal with it, and these will be published in due course.”