They’re not a band, they’re the police

Police officers

I can't understand how people justify tossing cigarette butts from their car window. Fairly frequently I'll be stopped behind someone at a traffic light, or driving behind a car on the highway and I'll see a burning cigarette butt being tossed from the window.

People who do this make me angry because it's well known that Cape Town is susceptible to bush fires that take over large fields, stretches alongside highways and huge parts of Table Mountain, leading to people and animals dying, property being destroyed and an assortment of other incidents, from vehicle accidents to theft. It seems as though people don't think carefully enough about the consequences of their actions until it's too late.

If you see someone tossing a cigarette butt from their window, give the 24-hour Emergency Control Centre a call on 021 424 7715. You'll be asked for your name and contact number as well as the description and registration number of the vehicle involved so that the case can be investigated.

8 thoughts on “They’re not a band, they’re the police

  1. Obnoxio The Clown

    I can’t help but feel that you’re encouraging people to spy on their fellow man. It always starts with something incontrovertible, like this. The next thing is they’ll have you reporting possible kiddy fiddlers. Then it will be something else. When they run out of real crimes to spy on, they’ll start demonising things. Eventually, you’ll be back in East Germany before the wall came down.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    Hey Obnoxio, we’ve missed you! It’s been some time since we’ve seen you in these parts. :)

    No, I’m certainly not suggesting that we spy on each other. Your concern reminds me of 1984 by George Orwell – scary. The fact is that people die and others incur huge losses because of people tossing butts from the window. I completely agree with your sentiment, but I believe what I raise is a different issue.

    Where your concern is valid, I believe, is when it comes to the public making decisions about who is committing a crime. “Kiddy Fiddlers” – a perfect example. Just because I’m a photographer and kids sometimes make for awesome photos doesn’t mean that I’m even remotely, possibly, a “Fiddler”.

    In the cigarette butt scenario I’m certainly not suggesting that you report someone because you think that they may throw a butt from their window. If they do toss one, well, then they’ve committed a crime and need to be stopped from doing it in future.

    Understand that it’s not the littering aspect, or the contravention of a “minor” law that I’m encouraging people to report. I just believe that if people are fined they’ll think next time before throwing their cigarette from the window; and if this stops just one fire, it’ll have been worth it. IMO :)

    Anyway, in conclusion, I refer back to 1984 by George Orwell. You make a valid point, we should be careful to guard our rights to freedom.

  3. Lydon

    Obnoxio The Clown are you serious?

    If you’re sitting in TRAFFIC and someone throws a cigarette out of their window in PUBLIC, how on earth is that called spying?

  4. Kathy S

    If you are in a soft-top and the ‘hot’ cigarette end lands in your lap, as it did to my husband once, its not a laughing matter!

  5. MD

    Have you got nother better to do than bitch and moan about other people?
    stompies out car windows is not at the top of the list for global warming, harden the F up! “OMG i just saw someone throw a stompie out a window its the end of the world” get a life seriously! do you recycle all your trash? does your car emit more smoke than it should? how many murders and rapists out there get away scott free? everyday? how many people and children starve to death every day? are you giving them clothes and food? are you driving a prius?
    people smoke and no matter what you do people will still throw it out there windows and on pavments etc! YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE THAT by moaning about 1 person who threw a stompie out the window!

  6. Lydon

    Wow…yet another stupid comment coming from Negative Nelly.

    Seriously, if people took that stance regarding everything in life we’d see far MORE poverty, crime and general ugliness.

    Do you have any idea how many fires Cape Town has had in the past year due to idiots throwing cigarettes out of car windows? Many people have lost their houses and belongings and some have even died. But no, a simple appeal to people not to do the same and to report those who do is apparently endless bitching and moaning about other people according to you.

    I think the issue here is that you’re one of these fools who throw their cigarettes out of their car windows and need somewhere to vent. Please, go make a fool of yourself somewhere else nut case.

  7. MD

    Wow…yet another tree hugging hippie straight from vortex.
    actually no fires were lit by cigarettes in the past year…yip thats right!
    I actually know one of the people who run the dep for cape town wild fires and most of the fires are caused for other reasons…ie bergies making fires to keep warm, broken glass etc.I myself ran a test and tryed VERY hard a few times to light a fire in a VERY dry bush *in controlled enviroment* and failed miserably! its not as easy as it sounds.

    Fynbos has to burn once every ten years,thats part of its life cycle it doesnt actually matter how it starts but eventually it will thats just the way nature made it.

    My point is you people dont see the big picture,your bitching and moaning about the small things which will never make a difference.your wasting your breath.

    and yes i do throw my cigarette out of the window…. venting… no thats exactly what your doing.Venting because you have nothing better to do but moan about stupid sh*t. I might be a “fool” but your fooling yourself thining you can actually make a differnce.

    Cry me a river

  8. Lydon

    OK wait, so let me get this straight…You randomly, out of nowhere, appear at this 6 month old post and go on a complete RANT, and then accuse me of “venting” and “moaning about stupid sh*t.” I find it hilarious that you mentioned numerous times about people “bitching and moaning” when you’re the one who appeared here and decided to start doing just that.

    I’m not interested in hearing about what your so-called “friend” from the department had to say. Couple that with the fact that you actually tried to light a fire in what you call a “controlled environment” and it’s clear that I’m debating with a complete and utter idiot here.

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions in my previous post. It makes complete sense now. I will continue to report those who throw their cigarettes out of their windows, and man do I hope I come across you one day doing just that!

    Goodness knows what you think you’re going to achieve here, because if you think you’re going to convince anyone that it’s all hunky dory to throw their cigarettes with posts that look like they were typed by a 5 year old with a bad case of anger issues, you’re highly mistaken.

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