Does anyone here have experience with the "report a litter bug" thing?
Great news!!!! I still don't think it is enough. That is the one thing I hate, going through Oklahoma and seeing trash all over the place. Quite frankly, I think the fine should be increased to $800 dollars on the first offense and much, much higher the second time around. I also get fustrated when I see trash flying out of the back of a pickup truck or a garbage truck like it is nobody else's business.
Here is the article. Oklahoma Senate Panel Approves Littering Fine Hike - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |
Does anyone here have experience with the "report a litter bug" thing?
$800 is a lot of money to some folks. While you or I might be able to put $800 on a credit card and really think nothing of it, that's the kind of money that can end up making folks have to choose between rent and a bench warrant/additional $185 failure to appear + court costs..and if they're actually picked up on that warrant and can't make bail, you're potentially talking about being evicted/losing everything/losing their job, etc.
For some folks, once they're in the system, even if it's just for something piddly like littering, it's tough to get out.
I'd prefer to see a smaller fine (smaller even than the 200 level that is being doubled) plus a mandatory community service component ... preferably involving trash pickup for any one able bodied, and something appropriate for those who are not able.
I suppose the $800 the first time around is a little high. Littering just seems to be a pretty big problem in OKC. I don't think anyone should be issued a warrant and go to jail for not paying. They could be given time, a lot of it, to pay it off and do community service as an alternative and pay less, like Kevin said. That seems good.
That ain't how muni court works. And every continuance you get costs.
I agree with Kevin with one exception..... Anyone caught tossing a lit cigarette should face capital punishment charges.... Is that to harsh? I mean they're speeding up their impending death by smoking anyway. So why not help them along?
But seriously I think the public service would be a better investment than the higher fine. Make them work the $800 fine off at Minimum Wage or at least make that an option for the person that can't afford the fine.
My vote: Mandatory community service picking up trash. No fine at all -- ever.
Bottom line, you're talking about the fine for a DUI in many cases being less than littering. Lunacy.
Thanks. That's the simple solution to every crime.
My goodness, you've cured society's ills.
I said what I said for a reason. Fines just aren't working and larger fines have unintended consequences that fail to actually solve the problem. All it does is push it down the road and put a little more money in the coffers. Money that IS NOT going to fund cleanup efforts. If 100% of the fines went to cleanup, I might bend an ear.
As a society we are so mobile that we've become incredibly disconnected with the places we drive through, work at, recreate, live, etc. We rarely spend most of our lives in one neighborhood.
The way I see it, the very best solution at attempting to restore some of that lost sense of ownership and pride is to force, at every legal opportunity, the culprit to get out of their car (a large percentage of trash comes from people throwing it out of their vehicles) and clean up.
Another major contributing force for litter are businesses. In this case, a fine might actually work but I'd think that community service for the owner/manager would solve the additional problem of not just correcting the issue on their property (oftentimes a lack of proper surrounds or infrequent trash removal from cans) but ensuring that they have more respect for the area that they might actually do a better job of fixing the issue and participating in maintaining a solution for the long run.
We've become too busy for our own fixes and until we change behavior, I don't see there being enough cops to write enough tickets to cure this with fines. It's going to need to be a slow, organic shift. We need to make leaders out of our offenders.
On the issue of cigarettes, having fought I don't know how many fires started by cigarettes, it should be clarified that throwing a lit cigarette isn't just littering, it's arson. We should never fine someone simply for littering if that occurs. If DAs/Police are doing this then calls should be made to elected officials. In Oklahoma, it's incredibly dangerous to throw out a lit cigarette and I've seen homes lost from fires started this way. It is the epitome of careless behavior.
8 Hours of community service is worth far, far more than $800 to our community IMHO.
It is not uncommon for a first time dui to see a fine of less than 200. Now there are all sorts of other expenses which exist, and the court costs, but the fine itself is not the lion share of the expense for the person who incurs a dui charge.
To me an 800 fine on littering screams out "we give up, but hey, might as well make some money in our defeat."
I don't object to a small fine, and a lot of community service. Sid, your 8 hour idea is way way kinder than where I would land, by a factor of 5 to 10. You want to change behavior? To me that requires hours of effort. I have no issue with 40+ hours, and if it needs to happen at 2-4 hours a Sat. or Sun. for several weeks so the trasher can still work, that's fine as well. Parks need cleaning, roads need cleaning, Habitat needs help, second chance and such need floors mopped, and once or twice isn't enough to make the impact.
I agree the fines do not stop littering. But from my perspective that's mostly because the laws are neither respected nor enforced.
I am speaking generally of people who throw out a couple of old toilets, 6 or 12 old tires, various other pieces of junk and trash and pickup loads of sheetrock and other construction debris.
They throw the stuff in the bar ditch.
My point is that the City has no problem fining the property owner versus the interesting notion that the perpetrator can't afford the fine. Lot of property owners can't afford the fine either.
Now, to be fair, I will say the City did remove a burned out vehicle from the roadway. So I suppose that is something
I'll definitely back Sid up, he has definitely done his fair share to help with the litter issue in OKC.
As far as fines go, they aren't nearly as effective as education. No one seems to understand that if we could just keep the trash in our cars for a couple of more miles and throw it away at home, we could save the state (this includes money spent by towns/cities) upwards of $24 million annually. More and more communities are starting to be proactive and not only provide better trash collection, but also certain times when residents can come and dispose of tires, electronics, etc. But, we have a long way to go.
The fines that are collected, to my knowledge, don't go back into litter prevention programs. The money is just dumped into city coffers and then spent on other issues. And that's assuming that a police officer is going to take the time to issue a citation....they usually have fare more pressing issues to attended to (that's just the sad truth).
Cigarette litter is by far one of the largest offenders and one that will hopefully be reduced by some programs that are in the works. Litter is a problem in Oklahoma. But I can tell you that there is a lot of attention being focused on the K-12 age range. The thought is that if we can alter their perception on litter, they will in turn cause a positive change at home.
One way to reduce litter is to keep places clean - litter attracts more litter. This spring there are going to be cleanups all over OKC and the state. Get out there and be proactive.
The City fines the property owners even though the trash is own City right of way, obviously does not belong to the property owner, and was placed there illegally which the City does nothing to discourage or prevent.
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