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.
— West Shore RCMP (@WestshoreRCMP) August 31, 2017
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.
Thank you @WestshoreRCMP for helping to prevent fire in our community. Our cigarette related fires have been on the rise in recent days.
— Langford Fire Rescue (@LangfordFire) September 1, 2017
No, what is insane is smokers thinking that 'their' cigarette butt will not be the one to start a fire.
Keep up with the tickets!
— BCP (@PriorBC) August 31, 2017
Fine should've been higher. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior.
— Micheal Smith (@BCJaysFan77) August 31, 2017
Good job! Glad someone got caught and fined
— Bradley Goff (@goff_bradley) August 31, 2017
excellent!!! – keep giving THOSE tickets out! Silly driver should have carried a pop can half filled with water to put the butt out in.
— L1SAN0LAN (@L1SAN0LAN) August 31, 2017
I guess the alternate option would be asking him to pay to rebuild homes razed by a careless cigarette toss
— Kara (@KaraArdan) September 1, 2017
It should be $5000 fine
— Phil Jonas (@PhilJonas1) August 31, 2017
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.