DRIVERS have been charged hundreds of pounds each for ignoring fixed penalty notices after throwing their cigarettes from a car window.
The two separate cases took place in Ipswich with a male driver charged £450 and a female ordered to pay £165.
Paul Mulley from Melton was seen by a waste enforcement officer littering from his Nissan on May 31 just after 9am.
He was initially fined £80 – or a reduced £60 fee if paid within 10 days of the notice – following a DVLA search on his registration plate.
However, after two ignored reminders on July 16 and August 7, he was taken to magistrates court where he was fined £220, plus £200 in legal fees and a £30 statutory surcharge towards victim services, according to the Ipswich Star.
Kim Lewis was also caught throwing a cigarette butt out of her Vauxhall car window by a waste enforcement officer on July 10.
After being sent a fine the next day and two reminders, she was ordered to pay £165 – comprised of a £60 fine, £75 towards prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Lewis, who did not appear at court, was denied an earlier request to pay the fine in instalments due to her reliance on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesperson said: “We will not tolerate people dropping cigarette butts on our streets.
“It’s a filthy habit and someone has to clean them up. It is not easy to catch culprits in the act but it is an offence, and we will take action when and where we can.”
Other restrictions on smoking in a car include a £50 fine if anyone under 18 years old is present at the time.
Both driver and smoker will be charged, even if the former is not smoking.
Exceptions include e-cigarettes or vaping, as well as driving a convertible with the roof completely down.
The law also does not apply if the smoker is a 17-year-old driver and is in the car alone.
You will still be charged if you open windows, sunroofs and doors (when standstill) when a child is present in the car.
It’s also illegal to smoke in a company car, including taxis, driving lesson vehicles and vans.
Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 if their workers are caught smoking in a company motor, and £1,000 if the car doesn’t display a no smoking sign.
You need explicit permission from an employer to smoke in a company car, and on the basis that you’re the only person in the vehicle.
Rebecca Ashton, Head of Driver Behaviour at motoring safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said: “Throwing anything out of a car window should be avoided at all costs – rubbish of any shape or size should be disposed of properly.
“There is also a risk of a lit cigarette butt coming back into the car and ending up in the rear of the vehicle by mistake.
“If you do smoke, take a break from driving and have your cigarette where you can have it without risking littering and risks your safety behind the wheel.
“We recommend you take a break from driving every two hours or 100 miles, whichever comes first.
“Smoking just one cigarette in a vehicle exposes everyone in the vehicle to high levels of air pollutants, opening a window does not lessen the damage that could be caused by these fumes.”