Smokers will be fined for tossing lit cigarettes

NANAIMO – Police to enforce littering bylaws and Wildfire Act against smokers discarding cigarettes and other smoking materials.

Nanaimo Mounties are enforcing bylaws to help prevent wildfires.

Dropping smouldering cigarette and cigar butts on streets, highways and trails can net some hefty fines, especially during extreme dry weather when they can spark raging wildfires within minutes.

“There are laws in effect to deter this activity and we are enforcing them,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “It should also be noted the laws apply to not only drivers of motor vehicles but their passengers, cyclists and pedestrians alike.”

Under the Provincial Wildfire Act it is prohibited to “drop, release or mishandle a burning substance.”

People doing so can be fined $173.

Even if the item is not lit, but disposed of from a motor vehicle, violators can also be fined $81 for littering under the Provincial Motor Vehicle Act or $100 through a city littering bylaw.

People who see anyone improperly disposing of lit cigarettes are asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and provide the licence plate number of the vehicle, vehicle description, a description of the driver, what direction the vehicle was travelling and its last known location.

To learn more, please call the Nanaimo RCMP Community Policing Section at 250-755-3257.

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