Inconsiderate campers to be fined in South Island

I see the West Coast (assume the South Island) has finally had enough of ‘freedom’ campers littering and polluting the countryside.

The suggestion is to fine campers using areas they shouldn’t.

While normally a fan of light regulation, in this case (if it can be enforced) I have to agree.

A year ago I went campervaning (or whatever you call it) down in the South Island. The landscape was stunning, but rest stops were often littered and trees festooned with toilet paper.

You shake your head when you consider that tourists (and locals) visit because of the ‘clean green’ beautiful landscape, and then proceed to litter and shit everywhere. Nice!

I’m not sure how the Local Councils are proposing to do this, but I have a suggestion to ensure it works.

Fine the vehicle.   

Yep, fining individuals will ensure the fine is never paid. Fine the vehicle and send the ticket to the registered owner and it will get paid. All camper van companies take credit card details so they can charge for traffic infringements that turn up after the renters have left the country, they will be able to charge on the fines. What’s more, they will be impressing on renters the importance of treating the country with a bit more respect.

Make the fines big. 

We’re talking about defecating in public land here, so make the fines for ‘missusing a public space’ (including littering etc) $200 per offence. This was there will be a huge incentive to obey the laws, plus an price incentive for the Councils to put the resources into policing the bylaw. If you think that’s steep check out parking fines in Auckland. Put some of the money could be put into more (and nicer) public toilets at rest stops.

Make it a National scheme.

Get all Councils across NZ on board, this way it will be clear to visitors that this behaviour is not acceptable anywhere.

Take photo’s / web cams

And set a web site naming and shaming.Take an interactive approach, this way visitors will understand that the moment they rent a vehicle what they face if they do this and are caught. If anyone denies the offence, like with speed cameras there’s some proof.

Sure it won’t stop everyone, there are always moron’s about, but it will deter some people especially with some suitable publicity. If we really believe this country is so clean and green, we should start insisting that it’s treated like it.

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