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No let up in littering on capital’s streets

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 17,2014 - Last updated at Nov 17,2014

AMMAN — The number of environmental violations in the capital is rising, a municipal official said on Monday, noting that infringements are mostly registered in areas that witness traffic congestion.

Despite organising several awareness campaigns and doubling fines for littering, the situation is not improving in Amman, according to Ali Marafi, head of the electronic monitoring section at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM).

“Environmental violations, mainly throwing trash from car windows, are increasing. Our efforts to reduce littering on Amman’s streets are not paying off as much as we want, as very few people have responded,” Marafi told The Jordan Times on Monday.

Public transport drivers are responding more than owners of private cars, he said, noting that only 10-20 per cent of motorists have stopped littering.

Littering is punished by a JD20 ticket under Traffic Law No. 49 of 2008, the GAM official said, noting that littering not only pollutes the city’s streets but also causes traffic accidents. 

“Littering is mostly recorded downtown, west Amman, Jabal Hussein, Abdali and Gardens Street.”

According to Marafi, GAM’s surveillance cameras registered 51,727 littering violations between January and October this year. 

The violations are recorded by 10 cars equipped with cameras roaming the streets of the capital.

Last year, 53,956 tickets were issued for littering, while the number stood at 56,000 in 2012, according to GAM figures.

Recording environmental violations via surveillance cameras seeks to curb pollution of the city’s streets and alter people’s behaviour rather than collect fines from the public, according to Marafi.

GAM started applying the electronic monitoring system in 2007 to maintain the cleanliness of the city and address double parking on the streets.

The vehicles’ dashboards are equipped with a camera and a control board connected to a computer, where all videos of the breaches are saved and then transmitted to the Central Traffic Department and the municipality, according to GAM.

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