On June 8, Victoria Police Chief Del Manak not only wrote a driver up for such an offense, but decided to make an example of him on social media.
“Five-hundred-and-seventy-five reasons to not throw your lit cigarette out the car window in front of @vicpdcanada. Happened in front of me on the (highway.)
“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.’”
$575 may seem like a pretty harsh fine for such a common cigarette disposal practice, but the penalty is actually in line with British Columbia’s Wildfire Act. Considering how much damage and destruction wildfires can dish out, hitting drivers in their wallets probably is one of the more effective ways of deterring preventable widespread disaster.
Now, Chief Manak didn’t respond to everyone who had something negative to say about the viral ticket, but when one citizen called out the lit cigarette fine as the “stupidest tickets ever,” he couldn’t help but to speak out.
“Not buying it,” Manak said, according to the Vancouver Sun. “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.”
“I was polite and respectful, and he got the ticket he deserved (including) some education on how wildfires can start. End of story.”
As it turns out, this is actually that second time that Chief Manak has hopped on Twitter to shine a light on the important safety issue. The first instance was back in September 2018, but that time he decided to give the offender a break by only writing a $138 speeding ticket and an $81 littering ticket. Looks like someone definitely lucked out that day.