View Full Version : Is throwing cigarette butts out of your car littering?

05-07-2001, 07:39 PM
If so, why isn't this law enforced? It is really an eyesore to the busy intersections (traffic lights)around where I live.

I guess now that I think about it, you can't really have a crack down on litterbugs, or can you?

and no (as you guessed) I don't smoke

05-07-2001, 07:58 PM
We're in drought conditions and a burn ban now, so doing that COULD get you arrested. It all comes down to the old addage, "there's never one around when you need one".

"Never try to teach a pig to sing...it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

05-08-2001, 01:26 AM
Yes it is littering. And in many states throwing either a lighted cigarette or any object that is capable of being burned is a seperate offence with a bigger fine. And really, darn near anything is capable of being burned.

**Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.**
6P1 (retired)

05-08-2001, 01:34 AM
And I hate it when someone throws a butt out their window and it flies into your car window. http://www.officer.com/ubb/mad.gif

Treat every day as the most precious day you have!

05-08-2001, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by wonderwoman:
And I hate it when someone throws a butt out their window and it flies into your car window. http://www.officer.com/ubb/mad.gif

I never had that happen. That's terrible! that could cause a fire!

One more reason to hate smoking.

Yes, it is illegal. I never caught anyone littering until about 2 weeks ago, I had just picked up the cruiser in my civilian clothes and headed to the office (cruiser's parked elsewhere). I watched a car stop at the curb and unload trach right at the intersection. At that point I violated state law and made the traffic stop in civilian dress. I made them go back, pick up the trash, and put it in a dumpster while I glared at them. It was a busy intersection and I bet the embarrassment did more good than a citation would.

05-08-2001, 10:33 AM
My wife is reading this over my shoulder. She says " You're GOD$%^&* right it's littering". She even wants to make it a capital offense!

"Trust me. I'm from the government, I'm here to help."

05-08-2001, 12:08 PM
IMHO, anything that YOU wouldn't want thrown in YOUR yard or on YOUR floor constitutes littering.

It never ceases to amaze me that some of the folks that b!tch and complain about folks throwing trash on THEIR property, are the SAME ones that think NOTHING of littering on someone ELSES property.

I have 300 acres in an adjoining state that has been in my family for over 100 years. Every summer I had to go down and clean up the MESS that someone else dumped. I finally got smart and talked to the local game warden. I offered him hunting rights in exchange for catching the 'dumpers'. End of problem. http://www.officer.com/ubb/smile.gif


05-08-2001, 12:40 PM
Uh Oh! What about gum? I don't do the cigarette thing but i am guilty when it comes to disposing of gum on the highway. Never on the ground where people walk though. I promise to try and stop if anyone finds spitting gum out on the freeway is offensive. http://www.officer.com/ubb/redface.gif

05-08-2001, 12:41 PM
dont do it in Jersey right now, the fire danger is incredibly high! acres and acres have burned and they think 2 of the fires were started by butts. or i could call them another term. http://www.officer.com/ubb/mad.gif

05-08-2001, 02:36 PM
I don't enforce it regularly, but once I was driving next to a pickup with two occupants. I was about a half a car length behind, when all of a sudden this cigarrette flies out of the passenger side window and flies inside my car.

I pulled them over and issued a citation for littering. After going to court on it, the passenger wasn't happy for having to pay a $500 fine.

Without the support of our fellow officers, sometimes we have no support at all.

05-08-2001, 04:35 PM
How about golfers who think sandtraps are oversized ashtrays.

Blue Leader
05-08-2001, 05:18 PM
Yep, in California, throwing ANYTHING other than water or chicken feathers is littering.

Throwing a lit cigarette out is a violation of 23111 VC and in San Diego will cost you $271

05-08-2001, 06:02 PM
Put your butts in the ashtray...that's what its for...$200 party foul in Dallas...BTW, DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!

05-08-2001, 08:56 PM
I use the ashtray for change so that when the homeless people approach i can give them change easily. and i don't have to look for my wallet and run the risk of getting robbed.

05-09-2001, 02:03 AM
My husband threw a friend's PACK of cigarettes out the car window one time. This was, of course, many many many years ago, before there were laws . . . http://www.officer.com/ubb/wink.gif Needless to say, that friend never tried to light up in our car again. Oh, actually, it was the friend's car. Oops!

05-09-2001, 08:37 AM
In Kentucky it is criminal littering, $500.00 fine http://www.officer.com/ubb/smile.gif and yes i have sighted people for throwing stuff out the window.

Michael J Pannell
05-09-2001, 10:35 AM
Technically yes within my force. However its all about proportionality.

If I saw someone discard a cigarette butt in the gutter in the town then I am not going to bother to stop them and order them to pick it up and place it in a trash can, indeed if they do so there is a risk the trash could ignite and thats more of a problem then a butt in the gutter that gets swept daily by the council road crews.

However, If I catch someone emptying their cars ashtray onto the sidewalk(pavement) or into the gutter etc then I am 1: going to order they collect every little scrap of paper,matches, butts and take them to a trash receptacle and 2: if they refuse to do so report them for littering. If they refuse to give me their details for a court summons then they get their *** hauled to jail there and then under s25 Police and criminal evidence act which makes it an arrestable offence to refuse to give an officer the details he/she requires to report an offender to the court.


[This message has been edited by Michael J Pannell (edited 05-09-2001).]

05-09-2001, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Michael J Pannell:
. . . if they refuse to do so report them for littering.

If they refused me, they would be hauled off to jail for obstruction!

(Well, not anymore . . . since . . . I'm not a cop anymore) http://www.officer.com/ubb/frown.gif


DoD Police
05-12-2001, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by ftrphxcop:
I use the ashtray for change so that when the homeless people approach i can give them change easily. and i don't have to look for my wallet and run the risk of getting robbed.

I keep a few job applications for the local fast food joints on hand for these beggers...they usually want nothing to do with it, so I don't go threw too many of them. Begging for money, call me callus or anything else you want too, but why in heck would anyone want to give up their hard earned money to some lazy person who wont work for their own? As a side note, most of these beggers usually have a cigarette hanging out of their faces. Where did s/he get the $$$ for that?

05-12-2001, 09:58 PM
You know DoD, I can't seem to be mean to them. I use judgement though. If they look like they can work i pass on the handout. If they are crippled or a woman i always give regardless. Nothings sadder than a woman who has to beg for change http://www.officer.com/ubb/frown.gif

05-16-2001, 06:42 AM
I've written tickets for it before, but I think a funnier way to do it is this:

Subject drops lit cigarette out driver side window at intersection. I, being in uniform and on my motor, put the stand down, pick up the cigarette, scrape it on the ground to make sure its out, and hand it back to the person saying "I think you dropped this." If they drop it again, well, then I write them for it, AND, put in the report that I handed it back to them once, and they dropped it again ... judges love a warning, and repeat violation all in one contact.