Spring is in the air and Trash is on the ground

Camden and Rockport police warn against littering

Posted:  Friday, April 20, 2018 - 8:00pm
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As spring begins to show itself more and more and we begin to enjoy it more and more, we can’t help but be drawn to the flowers blooming, the trees beginning to bud, the empty soda cans, what

Yes, it’s unfortunate but now that winter’s coat has all but gone the things we are beginning to see under that coat are not exactly what we call acceptable.  The fast food containers, empty bottles and cans and the occasional pallet and other discarded items have brought about the need for us at the Camden and Rockport police departments to remind everyone that littering is a violation of Maine Criminal Code Title 17, which states that a person who disposes of 15 pounds or 27 cubic feet or less of litter commits a civil violation.

The fine for this violation is not more than $500, which may be adjudicated in a civil court.  Not to mention the stigma of having your name placed into local print in the Police Beat portion of local news.

Another aspect, one that can go hand in hand with littering is unsecured loads. 

You know these folks. They are our neighbors who have been Johnny on the spot, got their lawns raked, tree branches and limbs loaded and are now making their way to our town recycling center to rid the last vestiges of winter from their memory.

But what’s this?

Following behind this overloaded truck or car with the trunk wide open with branches hanging out and there it goes, a limb or box falls off or out and lands right in the middle of your travel lane.

You stop and as the truck or car goes out of sight you wonder just what you are supposed to do.  Well, as a good neighbor you might pick up the debris and take it to the recycling center. Or, while following this person, you might know that the load they are carrying is not safe and before something does fall out and become a hazard, you call the local dispatch number and advise them what is going on. In turn, your local, friendly police officer responds, finds the vehicle, pulls them over and issues them a violation/summons for an unsecured load.

Oh, now we have another violation, this time from Title 29-A section 2396, which covers unsecured loads and says, “a person may not operate on a public way a vehicle with a load that is not fastened, secured, confined or loaded to reasonably prevent a portion from falling off.”

For the purposes of this section, "load" includes, but is not limited to, firewood, pulpwood, logs, bolts or other material but does not include loose hay, pea vines, straw, grain or cornstalks.

When the load consists of sawdust, shavings or wood chips, and a reasonable effort has been made to completely cover the load, minor amounts blown from the vehicle while in transit do not constitute a violation. This little violation can have a fine assessed up to $500 in court. 

Let’s summarize: If you have any item that you do not plan on saving for future use in your car with you, remember, throwing it out of the window as you travel our roads is not a good thing to do.

Taking large loads to the recycling center is a good thing to do.

Not properly securing large loads while travelling is not a good thing to do.  Both of these just might result in your being stopped and issued a summons for violations of the traffic code. 

To avoid being stopped, being issued a summons, not going to court and to avoid your good name being displayed in the news, do the right thing. We all know what the right things are in these two instances.

If you have any questions about these or other items please call us at the Camden Police Department, because after all we like spring time just as much as you do.

Call us at 236-7953 or stop by the office at 31 Washington Street.