Spring’s an ugly time of year thanks to litterbugs

Driving along Hwy. 401 on the weekend, I couldn’t help but shake my head as I passed by literally thousands of pieces of trash along the highway. The ditches are covered in debris tossed aside by inconsiderate motorists who treat the highway like their own personal landfill.
It’s completely disgraceful, and while littering is a year-round problem, never is it as obvious as in the spring when the snow finally melts away uncovering a season’s accumulation of trash. Coffee cups, windshield washer jugs, shopping bags – they’re everywhere along the province’s roads, especially in the GTA.
My girlfriend and I commented on the sad situation as we drove along in shame, embarrassed that visitors from other countries would witness this disgrace. Now, I’m not the tidiest guy, and the interior of my car is a bit of a disaster area as well. But I would never even consider tossing some of the empty coffee cups or water bottles that clutter the floor of my car out the window.
I think it’s time that litter bugs should be reported. If you see someone throwing trash out their vehicle, you should be able to call a number and report the offender. Then, the licence plate should be traced and the owner of the car sentenced to some ‘ditch time’ where they have to clean up after others who are as inconsiderate as themselves. Wasn’t you behind the wheel? Well, be careful who you lend your car to then.
Okay, that may not be the most practical solution, but short of re-introducing chain gangs to clean our ditches, there aren’t a whole lot of options. Something has to be done because we are at risk of losing our reputation of being a ‘clean’ country.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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