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Friday, April 12, 2024

ND gets Serious About Litter


The Peace Garden State recently passed a bill that will raise litter fines from $100 to $500.

Effective Tuesday, Aug. 1, any littering on a North Dakota highway could cost motorists $500. This includes disposing of a cigarette butt out a window.

HB1311 was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum on March 24. The bill narrowly passed the House by a 55-37 vote in February, but went through the Senate in a landslide vote of 40-6 in March.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation recommends the following litter prevention tips:
• Keep a litter bag in your truck, and hang on to litter until you find a garbage receptacle.
• Large or heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords or netting. Tie large items directly to your vehicle.
• Cover loose, lighter items such as tree clippings with a sturdy plastic or canvas tarp or netting. Tie the tarp securely to the vehicle, or it might become road debris.
• Put lighter-weight things at the bottom of the load and make sure they are secure. Evenly distribute the load to prevent it from sliding.
• Keep material level with truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted or tarped. Materials below the truck bed should also be secured if there’s any chance of them blowing out or falling from the vehicle.
• Double check your load if possible to make sure it is secure at the back and on the sides and top. Remember loads can move and settle during a journey, allowing restraints to loosen.

As the above tips suggest, even debris that inadvertently flies out of a vehicle, not just intentional disposal of trash, is considered littering.