By Bob Katzen
Another bill heard by the Transportation Committee would make littering by the driver or any passenger, on public or private property, a civil offense punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third and all subsequent offenses. The violation would be a surchargeable offense which under Bay State law, can lead to temporary higher insurance premiums for the driver.
Current law, which remains in effect even if this bill is approved, allows the Registry of Motor Vehicles, after a hearing, to suspend for up to a week, the license or permit to operate a motor vehicle of any person who litters or allows passengers to litter.
“Littering from a car has become an epidemic,” said sponsor Rep. Steve Howitt (R-Seekonk). “It is not only costly to the state for cleanup but is unsightly. Allowing a police officer to write a citation will simplify the legal process.”