Everyone knows that litter creates an eyesore and an image problem. But littering is not only ugly, it can be dangerous.
It harms the environment. It endangers wildlife and animal habitats. It hurts economic development and creates a public safety hazard.
Motorists who swerve to avoid debris in the road risk losing control of their vehicle. Litter and debris blowing from unsecured loads on trucks can strike other vehicles, obscure a driver's vision, damage vehicles and even injure drivers.
Charlie Rose, talk show host and journalist on CBS This Morning, and native son, talks about keeping North Carolina free of litter here: http://youtu.be/HxcfUqvRrzc
Littering is against the law. When a law enforcement officer spots a litterer in action they could be fined up to $1,000 for the first offense and up to $2,000 for the second offense. Also, upon a finding of guilt, the driver can receive a penalty of one point on his/her driver's license.
Litter is a costly problem. Cleaning litter from North Carolina's roadsides costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. In 2014, the State of North Carolina spent more than $15.6 million cleaning up more than seven million pounds of roadside trash. Countless volunteers and civic groups worked alongside busy highways and country roads to pick up litter. Also, cigarette butts are considered litter and are not readily biodegradable.
There are many things you can do to combat the growing litter problem, but the easiest way to help is to set a good example for others by not littering.
Here are some ways you can make a difference:
- Teach young people not to litter.
- Cover truck and trailer beds when transporting trash or other loose items.
- Carry and use a litter bag in your vehicle
- Report litterbugs when you see them to the NCDOT Swat-A-Litterbug program