Quebec smokers need to worry about yet another thing that's coming after them. A man in Longueuil was ticketed this week for ashing a cigarette outside his car window. After being stopped by local police, the man was fined $323 dollars for "public nuisance littering."
Since there are no ashtrays installed in newly produced vehicles, driving smokers have to ash outside their windows. Critics will point to a slew of cupholder ashtray options currently on the market but smokers say that they shouldn't be fined for littering because sometimes, they have no choice but to ash outside their window.
There's an outcry the Facebook group 'Spotted Policiers zélés', with some people wondering why the police would ticket a man for such a seemingly arbitrary offence. Others commend the officer for taking the initiative against a litterer.
TL;DR A Quebec man was fined $323 dollars for ashing a cigarette outside his car window. People have taken to Facebook with outrage against the ticket but some praise the police for catching a litterbug in the act.
The issued ticket claims that "this infraction constitutes a public nuisance that is prohibited. In a public domain, it is prohibited to litter any ashes, paper, newspapers, and garbage" (translated from French).
What's really got people enraged is that this ticket wasn't for throwing a cigarette butt, but for ashing a cigarette. The outrage stems from the fact that the police officer stopped the man in his car, which is apparently too much to handle for some. Some people are claiming the officer's motivation was simply to fill a quota.
However, more people point out that because there are stricter restrictions on smokers these days, the police officer did a good job. Some even blame the man who ashed his cigarette, saying that he should "keep his garbage in his car."
Some people say that they've witnessed numerous police officers ashing and even tossing their smokes, crying hypocrisy while some celebrate the officer for taking the initiative against littering.
Police representatives have not commented on the ticket, despite much public opinion. There's no word on whether the accused man will be contesting his ticket in court.
Smokers in Longueuil and Quebec as a whole will have to stay vigilant for any potential future ticketing as it seems police officers are cracking down on littering. If you've walked around the city recently, you can see the obvious effects of cigarette littering all over the place.
A $323 dollar ticket might be a little steep for some, but when compared to excessive speeding tickets (some more than $1000), a littering fine doesn't seem so bad.
Be careful where you toss your ashes and cigarette butts, folks!