Following the publication by the Government of a new anti-littering strategy, RAC spokesman Simon Williams said:
“According to RAC research one in four motorists (25%) feel the conditions of local and major roads are getting worse due to roadside litter so moves to clamp down on motoring litter louts will be welcomed by law abiding drivers.
“It is potentially a shrewd move from the Government to make the owner liable for a fine if anyone is spotted littering from a vehicle as this might be more likely to bring about a positive change in behaviour.
“While with motoring laws, such as speeding and using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel, penalties are only as effective as the level of enforcement from the police, this civil offence might be easier to enforce more widely as it does not require the offender to be identified to a criminal standard of proof. A legislation change in 2014 paved the way for local authority enforcement officers to issue civil fines to vehicle owners if they have reason to believe, on the balance of probabilities, litter was thrown from that vehicle.
“However, if subsequently the person who actually littered is identified, then the penalty notice will be cancelled and the vehicle keeper refunded.”