Don’t ever throw a cigarette butt out of a car window | Western Cape Government

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Don’t ever throw a cigarette butt out of a car window

2 March 2016

Hot, dry and windy weather conditions have dramatically increased the fire risk in the Western Cape. The Department of Transport and Public Works is asking smokers never to throw their cigarette butts out of vehicle windows. A single burning butt can wreak havoc on people’s lives and cause significant economic damage. Offenders could face a fine of R500. They could be arrested and charged with arson if the act of dropping a burning butt causes a fire. A person who causes a fire may even be sued for damages. 

Fires near roads place additional strain on the ability of Provincial Traffic Services to render services and can damage road infrastructure. Smoke haze reduces visibility, dramatically increasing the risk of crashes, particularly on highways where motorists typically travel at high speeds.

Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa says traffic officers and other emergency personnel are often called to attend to fires that could have been avoided.

“When roadside fires start, traffic officers may need to close roads for safety reasons and advise motorists to make use of alternative routes. Please, never throw a cigarette butt out of a vehicle window. Always make use of your vehicle’s ashtray,” he said.

We all have a role to play in preventing fires and keeping our roads safe. Provincial traffic officers keep road users safe by warning motorists of fires, closing roads when necessary, and redirecting traffic. If you smoke, always dispose of your cigarette butts safely. Never throw a butt out of a vehicle window. If you see somebody throwing a butt out of a vehicle window, you can report it by contacting the Traffic Management Centre on 021 812 4581.

View information Sheet:

Media Enquiries: 

Heinrich Robertson
Assistant Director: Communications 
Department of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 0539
Cell: 082 460 9262
Email: Heinrich.Robertson@westerncape.gov.za

Kenny Africa
Provincial Traffic Chief
Department of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 5114/ 7823
Cell: 084 562 4574
Email: Kenneth.Africa@westerncape.gov.za