OUR VIEWS: Litterbugs, stop now!

Nov 12, 2012

For 20 years, the Adopt-A-Highway program has been instrumental in helping to “Keep Michigan Beautiful.”

Participants — just about any group of three or more people — adopt both sides of a section of highway to keep clean for at least two years. Some 2,800 groups have risen to the call, adopting more than 6,400 miles of Michigan highways.

We have all seen the volunteers wearing bright yellow-green safety vests and walking along area roadways, filling plastic bags with trash. We all benefit from their community spirit and pride.

One only has to glance at road medians and shoulders to notice the big difference between roads that are part of the program and those that aren’t.

At the same time, the amount of trash they collect is startling, and should be embarrassing to all of us who use our state’s highways. It is simply staggering that so many people show so little disregard for their surroundings by tossing trash out of their vehicles.

Littering is a misdemeanor in Michigan, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $500. Keep that in mind the next time you’re about to toss a burger wrapper or your empty cigarette package out the window.

If you see someone littering, call police and report it, along with the make and model of the vehicle and license plate number. Help police enforce the law.

Then take your advocacy to the next step. Adopt a section of highway. Interested groups should check the MDOT website (michigan.gov/adoptahighway) for more information.

We thank the various groups and people in the Tri-Cities area who are already a part of this successful program, and encourage others to join them.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

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