Drivers in Britain now face fines of up to £100 for the ‘incorrect disposal’ of cigarette butts as part of a new update to the Highway Code.
The new rule aims to protect not only the environment, but also other road users, by clamping down on smokers who do not properly dispose of their waste.
This means that, as of yesterday (Saturday 29 January), drivers will be fines if they are caught throwing a cigarette butt out of the car window.
While smoking in your car is legal – unless someone in the vehicle is under the age of 18 – lobbing your finished cigarette onto the road is considered to be a form of littering.
If you do so, the ‘incorrect disposal’ of the butt could result in a penalty of £50 to £100.
Finance firm CarMoney's Andrew Marshall said: “More and more drivers are being caught out on the roads by unexpected fines. The new changes to the Highway Code will place more responsibility on road users and it will be a criminal offence to disobey them.
"More publicised offences, such as making phone calls whilst driving, are already deemed unacceptable in our society but simple things such as throwing a cigarette out of a window are what we see on journeys every day and often without consequence.
"We are reminding road users to be considerate of other road users and obey driving laws for their own safety and the safety of others whilst travelling.”
The Highway Code states that, in England and Wales, the driver ‘MUST NOT smoke or allow anyone to smoke in an enclosed private vehicle carrying someone under 18, including motor caravans’.
It adds: “In Scotland it is an offence for anyone aged 18 or over to smoke in a private motor vehicle (unless it is parked and being used as living accommodation) when there is someone under 18 in the vehicle and the vehicle is in a public place.”
The new rule is one of many recent changes that road users need to be aware of, including a penalty of up to £100 if someone stops beyond the white line at traffic lights.
Another change is aimed at changing the hierarchy of the road to offer more protection to cyclists and pedestrians, while if you’re caught touching your phone even just to skip a track forward, you could be hit with a £200 fine.
Failure to keep your registration plate clean is a big one, as you can be fined up to £1,000 if the number plate of your car is obscured.