SCDP Teams Up With PalmettoPride for Litter Enforcement Campaign
COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announces a statewide crackdown on littering as part of a partnership with PalmettoPride during the Great South Carolina Cleanup Week.
The S.C. Highway Patrol and State Transport Police will conduct special enforcement during an emphasis on litter on our roadways. The enforcement period will run from April 12-18 during which motorists can expect to see increased focus on litter violations from DPS officers.
“We want to send a clear enforcement message that litter not only trashes our beautiful state, it’s also illegal,” SCHP Col. Christopher Williamson said. “The Highway Patrol will be particularly vigilant for littering violations, especially around interstates, entrance and exit ramps and trash collection points where people throw trash from their vehicles or let it blow out of their vehicles.”
SCDPS law enforcement will focus on the laws regarding dumping litter on private or public property; preventing the escape of materials loaded on vehicles and cleaning the highways of escaped substances or cargo; and ensuring that loads and covers are firmly attached.
Col. Dean Dill of the State Transport Police said STP officers will be especially vigilant for littering caused by commercial vehicles with unsecured loads.
“In addition to trashing our roadways, litter or debris that falls from vehicles poses a serious traffic hazard,” Dill said. “We want drivers to be aware that the Highway Patrol and State Transport Police will be working together to curb littering in our state, and we will be writing tickets for anyone we see littering.”
Lt. Governor Pamela Evette has been an integral part of the Great South Carolina Cleanup campaign and also the Grab A Bag SC movement.
“South Carolina is open for business. We know that clean roads and clean communities directly relate to economic development and overall quality of life,” said Lt. Governor Evette.
According to PalmettoPride, more than 80 percent of littering is intentional. PalmettoPride also says that 21 percent of roadway litter comes from unsecured loads.
“Enforcement comes up in focus groups as the number one deterrent to littering,” said Sarah Lyles, Executive Director of PalmettoPride. “We’re thankful to have the Highway Patrol and State Transport Police partnering with us in education and enforcement to help keep South Carolina’s roadways clean.”
A littering conviction carries a maximum fine of $100 plus court assessments or 30 days in jail for up to 15 pounds of litter, along with eight hours of litter gathering or another form of community service. Littering between 15 and 500 pounds carries a fine of up to $500, 30 days in jail and 16 hours of community service; the community service increases to 24 hours for a second conviction and 32 hours for a third conviction. More than 500 pounds of litter carries a maximum fine of $1,000, up to a year in jail and community service.
Anyone who sees a motorist littering can report them by calling 1-877-7LITTER (1-877-754-8837). Callers will be asked to provide the time, location and the license plate number of the violator.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.www.scdps.sc.gov
PalmettoPride is working towards a litter-free South Carolina. Created as a legislative initiative to fight litter and help beautify South Carolina by engaging citizens to take action in their communities through education, enforcement, awareness and pickup. For more information, visit: www.palmettopride.org.