ALEA launches anti-litter campaign

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023

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The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has partnered with People Against a Littered State (PALS) for a statewide anti-litter campaign known as “Secure Your Load and Avoid Litter in the Road.”

The initiative focuses on educating citizens, as well as visitors, in an effort to save lives, prevent damage, and keep Alabama beautiful by emphasizing the importance of properly securing loads to prevent traffic crashes and ensure roadways remain clean and free of litter.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor expressed the agency’s gratitude for the partnership with PALS.

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“We are extremely grateful to have been given another opportunity to partner with such a great organization as Alabama PALS,” Taylor said. “This new safety-focused initiative enables ALEA and PALS to keep our scenic roadways clean and free of litter, in conjunction with preventing hazardous debris from falling off vehicles to ensure motorist safety. In 2022, ALEA first teamed up with PALS to develop Litter Law Brochures, which were distributed by our Public Affairs Officers at safety events and placed in our Driver License Examining Offices across the state to help spread information and raise awareness.”

Alabama PALS is a statewide nonprofit organization, providing and implementing anti-litter programs for all Alabama counties, cities, communities, schools, and groups to enhance their environmental and economic impact and create a litter free, cleaner, and more beautiful environment.

Spencer Ryan, executive vice president of Alabama PALS said the organization is honored to continue its partnership with ALEA by striving to make roads, highways, and interstate systems of Alabama cleaner, safer, and more beautiful for citizens and visitors.

“Litter and debris on our roadways presents unsafe situations for motorists, as well as being unsightly,” Ryan said. “The price to remove litter and debris is costly to the Alabama taxpayer. Alabama PALS annually supports volunteer groups from every corner of Alabama in the removal of highway litter and debris, and we want to thank ALEA for their support and pledge to assist in continuing and furthering the commitment of law enforcement playing a major role in making Alabama truly ‘Alabama the Beautiful’ through the enforcement of the Alabama Criminal Littering codes.”

Alabama laws allow for fines of up to $3,000 and 100 hours of community service for a misdemeanor littering offense. Taylor noted that littering is not only illegal, but also dangerous.

“Not only is dropping trash or debris from your vehicle against the law, but it can be extremely dangerous. Troopers within ALEA’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit (MCSU) are dedicated to educating drivers, as well as companies, about the importance of property securing loads in any vehicle or trailer before transporting to reduce unsecured-load incidents, as well as crashes on Alabama’s roadways.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a 20-pound object that fails from a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour strikes with an impact of 1,000 pounds. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicates that unsecured loads and road debris caused 715 deaths, 16,595 injuries, and 82,479 property damage crashes nationwide in 2020.