B.C. driver gets 'insane' $575 ticket for allegedly tossing cigarette

This photo shows a woman smoking a cigarette in her vehicle. It’s not clear whether the person ticketed in British Columbia for reportedly throwing a cigarette out of a car window was a woman or a man.

A West Coast police force is sending a message to motorists with a hefty fine that didn’t come with a warning.

The West Shore RCMP posted a tweet showing how one driver was given a $575 fine Thursday by a police officer in Langford, B.C., for allegedly throwing a cigarette butt out of a car window.

“Cig butt out the window is simply wrong and ILLEGAL. Driver thought the ticket issued was ‘insane’ … #yyj #bcwildfires,” the tweet says.

In the image attached to the tweet, the officer cites a violation to the B.C. Wildfire Act as the reason for the ticket. “Drop, release or mishandle burning substance,” the officer writes in the description of offence.

Here’s what the provincial law states:

“Except for the purpose of starting a fire in accordance with this Act or another enactment, a person must not start or risk starting an open fire in forest land or grass land, or within 1 km of forest land or grass land, by dropping, releasing or mishandling a burning substance or any other thing that the person reasonably ought to know is likely to cause a fire.”

One official says B.C. is dealing with its worst wildfire in six decades and much of it has yet to be contained, so it’s understandable for local officials to be on high alert for anything that could potentially cause a fire.

The police force appears to be getting plenty of support online for the ticket, including from the Langford Fire Rescue department. Some commenters even said the fine should have been much higher, especially considering the warm and dry conditions.

It’s unclear whether the driver will pay the ticket or fight it in court, but the quote shared by police indicates the person behind the wheel was not impressed.

If the driver earns minimum wage in B.C., it would take that person nearly 55 hours of work to pay off the ticket, assuming there are no deductions.