make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Throwing cigarettes from car could result in hefty fine

READ MORE: Throwing cigarettes from car could result in hefty fine
Smokers beware. If you're smoking while driving, do not toss your butts out the window. Tossing cigarette butts out the window could lead to some trouble with the law. One of our co-workers learned the hard way. WWAY traffic manager Brenda Covey is on notice. Her crime: being a litterbug. "I could get a citation if I get reported doing it again," said Covey. A few months ago someone spotted Covey tossing a cigarette out of her car window. She didn't realize it was a crime until she received a warning letter from the State Department of Transportation. Another infraction could cost her up to $1,000. Covey said, "I've never thrown trash out of my car, but I guess I've never looked at the cigarette the same as the trash, but it literally is." Highway Patrol First Sgt. J.O. Holmes said, "It's no different than throwing a piece of paper, or a fast food wrapper out the window." Holmes said cigarette butts are discarded too casually. According to anti-litter group Keep America Beautiful, smokers across the country generate 4.5 trillion butts each year. "It's a very hard law for us to enforce because obviously if someone sees a law enforcement vehicle -- beside them or behind them -- they're not going to do anything," said Holmes. Some citizens are taking the law into their own hands. Covey said the letter set her straight. "I admit that I did wrong. Since then I do have an ashtray in my car where you put your little butts out. So I do not do it anymore," said Covey. The Department of Transportation wants everyone to help keep the roads clean. If you see someone littering -- cigarettes or otherwise -- report it at the DOT's website.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


There is help out there

When I started smoking, cigarettes were 28 cents a pack.
I swore I would quit if they ever reached $1 a pack.
I smoked since i was 14. I'm now over 50.
I thought exactly like you.

Today I'm smoke free.
You can be too.

There are medications that can help you stop, get over the addiction, and move into the smoke free society.

I thought it was impossible. It's not, all it takes is talking with your doctor. There are several medications, so if one doesn't work try another.

You can be free.
If you really want to.


Well Lisa, you are just a lazy slob. You could put an ashtray in your car so you don't litter.

It didn't say that she got a

It didn't say that she got a ticket in the mail, it said that she got a warning letter in the mail. I feel that there is nothing wrong with getting a warning letter in the mail, it could be an eye opener. However, I do feel it is wrong to issue a ticket by mail without seeing it for themselves.


The person that called in a report for this, needs to BUTT out. We have alot more crime going on in this town, why not make yourself useful and drive around and report drug sales, break-ins, gang activity and the like. Poor cigarette butt caused such an uproar not to mention a potential conviction for littering.

I completely agree here. I

I completely agree here. I think that law enforcement officials need to focus on the "serious" issues at hand. Not even 1 month ago, there was a shooting at my apartment complex. Seriously.

you go

You go 1Guestfornow, make yourself useful and pick up trash. You will then see how quickly they turn into a mound of butts. Look out your window at any intersection and you will see hundreds of butts (and other trash) sitting there. That form can also be used for reporting people that let trash blow out the bed of pick ups or any other type of littering.

I completely agree... I got

I completely agree... I got a letter as well, and I'm not justifing this cause it wrong, but truly they need to concentrate on speeders and dummies that can't drive in this town...


The form is filled out by the general public, not police. The general public don't stop speeders and poor drivers. And stop being a slob by littering.

Warning Letter, not ticket

The article says a warning letter was sent to her, not a ticket and that next time would be a ticket. Which I am sure she would have to be caught by the police, not reported by someone else to get an actual ticket. I am sure the police department has a note of the warning in their system now, so if she is caught by the police, then there is no warning, it would be an automatic violation and a ticket would be given. There is some common sense here. Besides, I am glad she got the warning letter. How can someone really think that throwing a cigarette out the window is not littering. HELLO????

cig butts

So someone, NOT a cop turned her in? Did they call the cops and give her tag#???? How can they be sure it was her and the other person took the tag# down correctly? SO, you can get someone a ticket by just calling the cops with the tag# and reporting it?? SO , ALL the jerks I see speeding , driving reckless, passing illegally etc. If i just call the cops and give a tag# then that person will get a ticket in the mail?? YEAH, right. .... Sad thing is if it happens to you and you did not do it, you will have hell to pay proving it. Thats just wrong.

Warning for Cig butts

Does anybody out there recall how Hitler dealt with people when they did not go along with his laws? There were neighbors turning in neighbors and children turning in parents. Some were not guilty of anything but were turned in just because they were not liked. Some even lost their lives. See a parallel here??? Come on people, littering is wrong, yes, but it should be the police not the citizens that should be catching you. Has our society become so conditioned to a socialist society that you can't see the wrong in this????


These people that have nothing better to do with their time need to find a hobbie or more likely take a good look at their own life. I'm sure that they are not the perfect people they try to pretend they are.

I'm reporting you

(Start scary Darth Vader voice) I'm reporting you for your lack of faith in the judicial system.. (/end scary Darth Vader Voice)

Cigg Butts

I think if you fought it, the ticket would be hard to enforce. Just because a tag is in your name does not mean you were driving. The accuser would have to come to court, identify you as the violater and still it would be their word against yours. I'm not saying everyone should through their butts out or litter in anyway, I do however, see this becoming an abused situation. Think about it, mad at someone? Follow them and report them for littering etc etc.


Let someone drive thru a red light camera intersection with your car...see who pays for the ticket...