ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – Be careful where you throw your lit smoke, it could cost you a pretty penny.
The Abbotsford Police Department says one person has been slapped with a $575 fine after throwing their lit cigarette butt out of a car window.
They are vowing to issue fines for “these careless actions.”
Police say the fine has increased since last year, but is nothing compared to the full cost associated with battling a wildfire.
“How can we compare a $575 fine to the loss that people are facing,” says the APD’s Sgt. Judy Bird. “But you know, the fact that we’re taking action and we are giving out heavy fines will hopefully be a deterrent so that other people won’t face this loss for some sort of preventable action by others.
She says it’s quite easy to spot someone tossing a cigarette out carelessly.
“As police officers, it becomes a habit for us to just observe people. We observe license plates, we just out of habit check expiry dates. So we just look for people who are driving on phones, we look for people wearing seat belts so it’s just something that becomes a day-to-day routine for a patrol officer.”
Bird adds the officer who issued the fine happened to be driving behind the person who threw their butt onto the shoulder of the road.
You’re being reminded to put your smokes out properly, and say the cost of a ticket is nothing compared to the full cost of a new fire and the damages it could cause.
“We attend multiple structure fires and human caused fire tragedies every year when people discard smoking materials in dry plant pots outside their dwelling, in landscape bark mulch, and dry grass,” says Deputy Chief Jeff Adams with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
“Please use caution at all times but especially during these extended times of drought.”
If you see a fire, call 9-1-1 immediately.