Pennsylvania bills would boost fines for roadway litter

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 9/21/2017

Littering around Pennsylvania roadways could soon carry a much harsher penalty.

State law now set fines for littering from $50 to $300. Repeat offenders face fines up to $1,000.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to boost fines for littering. SB431 is in the House.

Sen. Mario Scavello, R-Mount Pocono, said he believes the current fine system is not a strong enough deterrent for the crime.

“When you look at all of the trash along our roadways and at illegal dump sites, it’s clear that the current fines are not enough to deter this crime,” Scavello said in a statement.

His bill would set up a tier system for littering violations:

  • Littering of up to 5 pounds would carry fines of $50 to $300. 
  • Offenders who improperly discard items up to 100 pounds would face fines of $300 to $500. 
  • Littering items in excess of 100 pounds could result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Repeat offenders who litter items weighing up to 5 pounds would face fines ranging from $100 to $500. The next two tiers of repeat littering violations would carry fines of $500 to $1,000 and $1,000 to $2,000.

The bill awaits consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

A similar House bill would increase the litter fine from $300 to $500.

The bill states that a portion of the new proceeds would be used to pay for signs alerting drivers of the increased fines.

The bill, HB605, is in the House Transportation Committee.

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