The Missouri State Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists that discarding a cigarette while driving can be extremely hazardous and it is illegal.
Missouri is experiencing historically dry conditions due to the lack of rain. A cigarette butt coming into contact with even the smallest amount of the extremely dry grass throughout the state quickly can become a dangerous fire.
Discarding a cigarette butt is considered littering, which is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. Discarded cigarette butts leading to a fire may result in further criminal charges being filed.
Missouri firefighters have already worked numerous fires throughout the state. Many acres of land and several structures have been lost. With little relief in sight, everyone is urged to take every precaution to protect our state from additional risk of fire.
“Missourians are encouraged to remain vigilant regarding the dry conditions we are experiencing,” said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Keep safety in mind and think ahead. Your actions could have devastating consequences.”