Sleaford MP backs litter law change

MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Dr Caroline Johnson. EMN-180702-170446001
MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Dr Caroline Johnson. EMN-180702-170446001

Sleaford’s MP, Dr Caroline Johnson, has been backing a new law to crack down on owners of vehicles seen littering streets.

Dr Johnson has been part of the Delegated Legislation Committee updating littering laws to aid enforcement.

Currently, she explained, it is illegal to drop litter in the street from a car window but police have to prove who actually dropped it.

She went on: “We have changed the law so there is still a way to enforce it civilly and reduces the burden of proof by making the registered keeper of the vehicle responsible.” (In the same way the keeper of a car is liable for fines when caught on a speed camera).

This would put the responsibility on the car owner to make sure no occupants drop litter from the car.

There would be exemptions for taxis.

Dr Johnson said: “Hopefully that will clear up the roads as it will have a massive deterrent effect.” She said this would the council thousands of pounds sweeping it up, make the area look better and eliminate the fast food wrappers found miles from the outlet they were bought.

She said councils can choose whether to enforce it and can accept vehicle dashcam footage as evidence too.

David Steels, Head of Environment and Public Protection at NKDC, said the council is looking further into the new regulations covering littering from vehicles with great interest and the accompanying government guidance, when it is published.

He said: “As Lincolnshire’s most proactive district council in dealing with littering, fly tipping and other environmental harms, we are always keen to explore opportunities to meet public expectations and maintain high standards.

“The proposals would effectively expand the council’s powers to take action and as a further tool in support of its work, the ability to issue civil penalties against the owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown would reinforce the tough stance taken by North Kesteven District Council on tackling environmental crimes.”

He added: “Furthermore, we are again engaging in the Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring clean initiative and helping residents to get involved locally by providing the necessary tools to do so.”

Whether on the designated weekend of March 2-4 or at other times, the district council is able to supply refuse sacks and collection of the litter after each event. Details from Jenny Bailey on 01529 414155 or email jenny_bailey@n-kesteven.gov.uk