NC plans anti-littering education, crackdown

From staff reportsMarch 10, 2014 

— The state of North Carolina wants you to keep your trash in your vehicle, rather than by the side of the road. “Litter Free NC,” a new state campaign, aims to teach people about the true cost of throwing a cigarette or bottle out the window.

In 2012, the state paid $16.1 million to remove more than 325,000 bags of litter from the sides of roads and highways. The Department of Public Safety and State Highway Patrol say they’ll counter this largely through education and public awareness about the consequences of littering.

Each mile of highway is lined by about 16,000 pieces of litter, according to the Department of Public Safety, which says that trash is both an eyesore and a hazard to drivers.

The campaign will start with a bang. The State Highway Patrol will mount a “heavy” enforcement program this week, meaning troopers will pay extra attention to people who intentionally throw trash from their vehicle’s window, and to drivers who fail to secure their loads, allowing trash to scatter across the pavement.

Fines for littering in North Carolina can reach $100 for fewer than 15 pounds of trash on the first offense, and state courts can require four to 12 hours of community service.

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