Police Officer Fines Driver $430 for Throwing Away Cigarette Butt

By Victor Westerkamp

A Canadian police officer fined a driver $430 on Saturday, June 8, for “drop, release or mishandle burning substance.”

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak posted a photo on Twitter flaunting a ticket of CAD $575 (about $430 in U.S. currency) he handed out to a driver who tossed away a lit cigarette in front of his face.

The text on the Twitter post reads:

“575 reasons to not throw your lit cigarette out the car window in front of @vicpdcanada. Happened in front of me on the hwy. When asked why, driver replied, ‘I didn’t want my car to burn’ as he pointed to his cup holder in console. My response, ‘Then don’t smoke in your car.'”

It happened on Highway 17 near Quadra Street on Saturday, June 8. The time stamp on the ticket says it happened at 6:20 p.m. The amount of the fine, $575, corresponds to the one set for violation of the Wildfire Act.

Saanich Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood praised Manak on Twitter, saying: “Well done Chief @SaanichFire thanks you! A strong message and $ouch will certainly have this driver rethinking options for safely disposing lit cigarettes.”

Manak justified his actions, by saying on Twitter: “I don’t set the prescribed fine amount and I actually did use some discretion. I could have also written him a $138-speeding ticket.” He continued: “I was polite and respectful, and he got the ticket he deserved (including) some education on how wildfires can start. End of story.”

It’s unknown whether the driver will make an appeal to court.

This was not the first time Manak fined someone for discarding a cigarette butt, Vancouver Sun reported.

Last September, he posted on Twitter that he had actually been merciful with a driver by writing only a $138 ticket for speeding and an $81 ticket for littering after the driver had tossed a lit cigarette out of his car window.

Wildfire Shuts Down a Part of I-95 in Florida, Snarling Traffic

wildfire had shut down a portion of Interstate 95 in northern Florida, snarling traffic on a major U.S. highway as the busy Memorial Day weekend began.

The fire started less than a mile from the highway on Wednesday and spread, the Florida Forest Service said.

The Yellow Bluff Fire has scorched 450 acres and was 30 percent contained, the Florida Forest Service’s Jacksonville office said.

“These wildfires can build quickly and can be extremely dangerous, so residents in affected areas should continue to follow directions from state and local officials,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried said in a statement.

“With the Memorial Day travel weekend approaching, all travelers should closely monitor the media for updates on safety and I-95’s reopening,” Fried added.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville has issued a dense smoke advisory in the area. Visibility will be reduced to a quarter mile or less, it said.

Wildfire Damage

The wildfire that ignited in Mexico jumped the Rio Grande into Big Bend National Park and severely damaged a historic border ghost town and former Army border post.

Posts on the park’s Facebook page say shifting wind gusts Wednesday night blew embers onto the barracks, officers’ quarters, visitors’ center and restrooms at the Castolon Historic District.

Firefighting crews from the park, Texas A&M Forest Service and nearby Terlingua Fire and EMS were able to save the officers’ quarters with minimal scorching, but the La Harmonia frontier trading post and Castolon Visitor Center were damaged severely.

The park officials’ statements said shade temperatures were near 109 degrees with single-digit relative humidity when the fire entered the park.

Epoch Times Newsroom and The Associated Press contributed to this article.