JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —New signs, like this one on Broadmoor Drive in Natchez, warn motorists of cameras which are monitoring for littering in the area.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —New signs, like this one on Broadmoor Drive in Natchez, warn motorists of cameras which are monitoring for littering in the area.

County is giving litter bugs some happy reminders

Published 12:06am Saturday, July 13, 2013

NATCHEZ — Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, effectively serving as a reminder that littering the scenery can earn you a fine.

In recent weeks Adams County Litter Enforcement Officer Paul Brooks has placed signs reading “Smile: You’re on camera!” in areas of Adams County known to have a high volume of litter from passing traffic. The signs also note that littering can result in a $250 fine, and that tickets will be mailed to offenders’ address.

Brooks said the cameras the signs warn of are angled both ways to clearly capture an image of both the license plate and the driver of the vehicle.

“We have been doing this as an experiment, and so far it has been very successful,” he said.

“Broadmoor was probably one of the biggest problem areas with litter in the county, but it has been amazing that these signs and the monitor systems out there have virtually stopped it. Even after the Fourth of July weekend, it was clean.”

Broadmoor-area resident Patricia Carroll said she has been very pleased with the passive anti-littering system that the signs and hidden cameras provide.

“The first thing I noticed when the signs were up, they said to smile because you’re on camera, and I was smiling because when I came home that afternoon there was no litter — that is the best thing since sliced bread,” she said.

“I live here, and I make this area my home and I take pride in where I live, and so when the litter was coming in the last few years it was unnerving me.”

The cameras have been concentrated at problem intersections such as at Firetower and Southwind roads and illegal dump sites such as on Hutchins Landing Road, but Brooks said as he expands the effort he will also look at problem stretches of roads such as Col. John Pitchford Parkway.

As the efforts expand, the posted signs denoting the presence of cameras will continue, Brooks said.

“We aren’t out to trick people,” he said.

“We are trying to educate people that they are on camera and be aware that if you have a bad habit of throwing stuff out your window, you need to be a little more aware of what you’re doing.”

Adams County Supervisor’s President Darryl Grennell said he has been pleased with the camera program and with the litter control program overall.

“I want residents to be aware that littering is not acceptable in the county; we are trying to make it a beautiful place,” Grennell said.

“It is a great place, and we need to enhance it by not littering.”