Throwing cigarette butts out a car window can come with a hefty fine

Published: Nov. 23, 2019 at 2:22 PM CST
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The Rapid City Police Department wants to remind citizens that throwing a cigarette out of a car window classifies as throwing burning materials from a motor vehicle and is illegal.

Throwing cigarettes out the window in South Dakota is a criminal offense -- a class two misdemeanor punishable with a citation of $122.

Throwing cigarette butts on the ground can be a habit for many smokers.

Fred Baxter is a patrolman for the Rapid City Police Department and said during the winter season fires from cigarettes aren't common, but during warmer days fires can start from smokers who toss burning butts from their vehicles.

"Put it out in your ash tray.. you know find some other place to empty your ash tray at some point in time. Don't just dump your ash tray out of the car because that happens too and that one falls into the other littering statue. But how many times do you pull into the convenience store and right there in the parking lot there is a pile of somebody's cigarette butts... not something somebody wants to walk through," said Baxter.

Baxter said if you're driving and see a big black part in the grass, it is most likely from someone throwing a cigarette out of their window.

According to

, cigarettes butts are the most littered item in America.