The Lafayette City Parish Council has approved several new ordinances, including an updated litter law. People who litter can expect to see stricter penalties.
For the past few years anyone caught littering would be subject to paying a civil ticket, but an issue arose when it was time to enforce the laws, being that the only avenue was through a Justice of the Peace.
Kevin Blanchard, Chief Development, says “One of the changes we made last night is that he expanded and where those single complaints can be filed and basically they can be filed anywhere. It can be filed with the justice of the peace, same as before, also in city court, parish court. We opened up basically the jurisdiction for those.”
Secondly, the fines have been increase when caught littering by a police officer. The first offense can cost you $75. Included in the new ordinances, littering is now considered to be a traffic offense.
Blanchard says, “If you throw something out of your car, a cigarette butt for example, out of your and a police officer sees that you can get pretty hefty fines, actually 300 bucks first offense for cigarette butts.”
Violators will also have the option of community service to pay for their crime. Blanchard says they also have an third option: just don’t litter.
Blanchard says a new position will be added to make sure these laws are being followed whether it is litter, snipe signs along Lafayette’s roadways, or the improper disposal of cigarettes.