New Pennsylvania law boosts fines for roadway litter

July 23, 2018

Keith Goble


Littering along or near Pennsylvania roadways will soon carry a much harsher penalty.

State law now sets fines for littering at $50 to $300. Repeat offenders face fines up to $1,000.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to boost fines for littering.

Sen. Mario Scavello, R-Mount Pocono, said the stiffer punishment is necessary to “put some teeth” in the current fine system that he described as not a proper deterrent for the crime.

“When you look at all of the trash along our roadways, it’s clear that fines alone are not enough to deter this crime,” Scavello said in a released statement.

Previously SB431, the new law requires an offender to pick up litter or illegally dumped trash for five to 30 hours within six months. The violator would also pay the existing fine. Subsequent offenses could result in tripled amounts of community service and fines.

In addition, existing fines are doubled when committed in a litter enforcement corridor and tripled for litter that originated from a commercial business within a litter enforcement corridor.

The new law takes effect in late December.

Good Samaritan Law
The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to grant immunity to certain professionals who break into a locked vehicle to save animals from extreme temperatures. House lawmakers approved a similar version of the bill.

HB1216 would permit emergency personnel including firefighters, police or humane officers to rescue a dog or cat in “imminent danger” of harm. The pet’s owner could also face fines of up to $300 or up to 90 days in jail.

The bill awaits further consideration on the Senate floor. If approved there, it would head back to the House for approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Pennsylvania, click here.