Roadway Litterbugs Beware: Fines May Drastically Increase for ND
North Dakota lawmakers approved a $500 fine for littering while driving
FARGO, N.D. — Drivers in North Dakota could face harsher fines for throwing garbage on state highways.
NDDOT workers said it’s bad for the environment and can even be dangerous to other drivers.
If you get caught littering on state highways in North Dakota, the fine is $100.
But changing laws could drastically raise the fine to $500.
The bill with this increased penalty now sits on Governor Burgum’s desk.
It was approved by the Senate on Monday with a 40 to 6 vote.
The fine would apply to any publicly maintained road in the state and even includes discarded cigarette butts.
“People like that just don’t care about the environment and we need to keep the environment clean and we want our city clean,” said Fargo landfill supervisor Paul Hanson. “People like that, they’re just careless and not responsible. It’s not good for the environment at all.”
Hanson said drivers hauling uncovered loads of trash are a big contributor to roadway garbage.
“I think it would be great,” Hanson said. “I think if a truck’s going down the road, he’s losing stuff off his load and he’d only get that $500 fine once and it’d be covered up after that.”
NDDOT Office of Operations Director Wayde Swenson said our roadways would be a lot worse without volunteer clean-up crews.
“They do a very good job, especially near our communities and that’s statewide, we couldn’t do litter control without those groups,” said Swenson. “But out west, I think the litter happened to be where there was a lot more than some of these groups can handle and so it became an issue.”
They say volunteering to clean up is a great way to help solve the problem.
But the highways would have no trash at all if drivers stopped putting it there.
Swenson says the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Group will pick up garbage on Highway 85 this year from April 30th through May 7th.