Editorial: Give a hoot; pass a litter law

Published 8:57 am Thursday, February 12, 2009

There has been a lot of talk at the state Capitol about smoking in automobiles and whether it should be banned, in particular when children are riding in the cars.

The idea is laudable. Ask any adult who grew up riding in the back seat asking their parents to crack the window because they would rather freeze from the cold winter air rather than choke from the cigarette smoke. If they have any empathy for children, they likely will favor the idea.

However, we realize it might not be politically feasible this year, and it is before the Legislature mainly to get discussion going. It probably will become reality in future years.

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Here’s an idea that is politically feasible: Increase fines for littering and establish a litter hotline. Let’s work with the law enforcement community to encourage busting litterbugs.

Those kids in the back of the car often saw their folks throw the butts out the windows. That, too, should be regulated. The road is public space, not an ashtray.

In many states, the cops love to catch people tossing their cigarettes out of their cars. Here, throwing garbage out of the car and onto the Land of 10,000 Lakes seems to be modus operandi. No one gives a hoot.

Let’s clean up this state. Let’s make life easier for the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers.