Of Cigarette Butts and Pepsi Cups

Somewhere in the neighborhood of two million cigarette butts are discarded by smokers each day. It just so happens that a Bremerton Police officer Thursday witnessed one of those butts go flying out of a car on the Warren Avenue Bridge, watching as “ashes exploded across the roadway.”

The officer, driving on Warren Avenue at 17th Street at about 11:30 p.m., watched the car go by his cruiser doing 45+ in the 35 mph zone, as well as the aforementioned cigarette take flight from one of the car’s windows.

The driver of the car, a 22-year-old, had a suspended license, the officer said. But the discarded cigarette would cost him too – the officer wrote a $1,025 ticket for the offense (For those interested in the Bremerton Municipal Code, click here, and view BMC 6.280.50B).

The 22-year-old wasn’t the only one, however, who’s been written up for littering recently.


An officer observed a 26-year-old man, walking at the corner Sixth Street and Callow Avenue, discard a Pepsi cup on the sidewalk Sunday afternoon.

Police reports of the incident didn’t say whether he got a ticket. But because the officer had seen the alleged littering, he decided to run the man’s name through a criminal data base — and lo and behold, a warrant for malicious mischief came up. He was taken to the Kitsap County jail on $5,000 bail.

I guess the lesson to take away from these reports is this: There’s not always a cop around when you witness littering, but when there is, the suspect can expect some scrutiny, and perhaps a hefty fine.

4 thoughts on “Of Cigarette Butts and Pepsi Cups

  1. Throwing cigarette butts out of a car is one of my pet peeves, especially in the summer when it is dry. First, it is dangerous in that it can start a fire. A couple of summers ago I stopped to assist with three small grass fires in a two week period… I’d bet that all three were caused by cigarette butts. Second, it is dangerous in that when it is thrown out of a car after dark, it creates a startling light show that I suspect most normal human beings immediately react to. It is a startle that could cause an accident.

    The brain immediately goes into reaction mode… is it a cigarette butt, is it a flying piece of debris, is it the first sign of a wreck ahead…

    It annoys me. Can you tell?

    I’m glad the fine is so steep.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  2. I have the liter hot line programed into my cell and call it every time I see a “butt” get thrown out a window.
    My father was an aerial fireman. He and his crew were killed when their plane crashed while en route to a huge fire. It was later proven that a cigarette was the cause of the 10,000+ acre fire in Southern California. So much was lost just because a smoker wouldn’t use their ASHTRAY!
    I agree with Kathryn, I’m glad the fine is so steep.

  3. Works for me! There is no good reason to be throwing anything out of car, let alone something that is on fire. If you don’t have an ashtray in your car, quit smoking in it or get one!

  4. I have a friend that has a nice car. He doesn’t use the ash tray, but does use a water bottle to extinguish the butts. Gross..but it works.

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