Drivers can be fined £150 for offence 'even if they don't do it themselves' after law change

inside a car looking out to the road
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Drivers can face fines for littering from their vehicles, even if a passenger is responsible for dumping rubbish. A law change has removed the need for councils to prove individual guilt, making car owners accountable for any litter thrown from their vehicles, according to experts.

A spokesperson for waste experts Wheeldon Brothers warned that the Government raised the maximum on-the-spot penalty for littering from £80 to £150 in 2018. Under these changes, local councils now possess the authority to fine car owners when evidence indicates litter was thrown from their vehicle, they said.

The spokesperson added: “According to National Highways, yearly, they remove around 200,000 sacks of litter from the country's motorways. The cost is around £50 a sack—about the same as fixing a pothole—and money that could be better spent elsewhere on road repairs.

“The crackdown on littering drivers aims to address the widespread issue of discarded coffee cups, fast food wrappers, nappies, and cigarette ends littering roadsides and motorways, which will hopefully lower these numbers. Litter thrown from vehicles not only damages the environment and incurs substantial costs but also jeopardises the safety of road workers tasked with its removal. Let's keep our roads clean. We urge drivers to simply hold onto their litter until they spot the nearest bin.”