ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
Loren, of Winter Park, asked, “Are there consequences for throwing a cigarette out of a car window?”
Under Florida Statute 403.413, any person who dumps anything in an amount of 15 pounds or less in weight and not for commercial purposes is guilty of a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a civil penalty, also known as a ticket of $100 or more.
Trooper Steve said an unlit cigarette falls under that criteria.
Florida Statute 590.10 addresses the disposal of lighted substances, saying it is unlawful for any person to throw, drop or dispose of a lighted match, cigarette, cigar, ashes or other flaming or glowing substance, or any substance or thing which may or does cause a wildfire. Anyone who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
"With Florida having multiple weather patterns, we have to be constantly aware of how we dispose of certain things," Trooper Steve said. "A simple flick of your cigarette could cause major issues, including causing a massive brush fire."
Trooper Steve said the solution is simple.
"If your car does not have a proper place to dispose of your cigarettes, then do not depend on our environment to handle that for you," he said. "Plan ahead and have your own personal safe way of getting rid of your trash."
If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.