What would you do if you saw someone littering? Would you say something? An unknown biker in Tallahassee is being called a hero by some for confronting people in a car who had just dropped their trash in the street.
The scene played out in two TikTok videos posted on Aug. 14, 2023, by Ashley Balitz. Over 1 million people have viewed the first video, which Balitz recorded from her car cam. In the silent video, a black Mercedes SUV is stopped at a red light. The vehicle's passenger door opens, and someone drops a plastic trash bag on the street and shuts the door.
Not long after the trash is dropped onto the road, a man on a dirt bike rides up next to the Mercedes. He looks into the vehicle, then points down to the trash on the street. Since the video doesn’t have sound, you can’t hear what the biker is saying to the people in the car.
The biker then picks up the driver's trash and holds it up to the window of the Mercedes. His mannerisms seem to say, “Seriously?” Then he puts the trash bag on top of the SUV.
In a second video Balitz took, one that has sound, you can hear a verbal exchange between the biker and SUV driver. The driver stands out of the driver's side door, leans over the roof of the SUV, and grabs the trash bag. The two men appear to argue a bit before the driver gets back into his car with the bag.
“Kudos for this biker for sticking up and saying something to these people!” Balitz wrote in the video description. Many of those who viewed the video agreed.
“Not all heroes wear capes,” commented Erick Gomez. “What’s so hard about waiting until you get home to a trash can?” asked another commenter. “I think you can report them for littering! You have their license plate,” said another.
The unknown biker isn’t the first biker to confront litterbugs. In 2014, several news outlets reported about a Russian female motorcycle-riding “vigilante” who was throwing trash back in the windows of drivers who had littered. In 2018, The Daily Mail reported on another female biker in Beijing who threw litter back in the litterbug’s car window.
Litter on roadways can cause accidents.
We shouldn’t have to tell you that littering is bad. It’s pretty obvious it isn’t good for the environment or the aesthetics of our planet. It can also harm animals who mistake litter for food, and cause them to become sick or even kill them; animals can also get tangled in trash items littering the road, causing injury or death.
Plus, litter on our roadways can be hazardous to drivers, especially those riding motorcycles.
According to a 2021 report by the University of Delaware, up to 0.5 percent of all vehicle crashes are due to debris on the road. Food litter in the street also increases the chance of collisions with animals that may venture into the road to get the food, the report states.