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South Africa - Fine To Be Set For Tossing Butts

The decision to start fining motorists for throwing cigarette butts out of their car windows has produced a very mixed reaction. Many people are up in arms at the idea, saying it is biased and unfair. Others have praised it saying it may result in a cleaner country and a more conscientious smoking public. Still others agree with the idea but feel that the intended fine might be too heavy.

The idea of imposing a severe fine to prevent motorists from haphazardly disposing of cigarette butts while driving came about after a large number of devastating fires which ravaged the Cape coast quite recently. The fires resulted in one death and extensive damage to both protected indigenous bush (fynbos) and to a number of homes in the Cape Town area.

The fine of R2000 has been proposed as an amendment to a community fire safety by-law. It is being set at the moment but ranges between R1500 and R2000. With other traffic offenses carrying a much lighter fine, it is no wonder some have labeled the fine as excessive. The current fine for ignoring a red light is R500 while ignoring a stop sign will cost you R300. However the offensive is quite easy to avoid and the resulting possible damage from casually tossing away cigarette butts, as has already occurred, can be lethal. The fine has yet to be approved and become a reality.


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