LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - This summer, it only takes a hot tire, or a passing train to ignite a brush fire because the grass is so dry. Now, Indiana State Police are trying to cut the number of fires by cracking down on drivers throwing their cigarette butts out the window.
"What we are trying to do is stop the fire before it happens," Sergeant Kim Riley says. "You've probably seen it yourself, people flicking the cigarette out the window, dropping the ashes out of the window, the whole works."
Indiana State Police say fines and court costs could cost the driver up to $10,000. But if the cigarette causes major damage, it could mean jail time.
"If, by chance, we can prove that you were the one who threw the cigarette down that started the fire that burned the neighbor's house down. You're the one that is going to have to pay for that house," Sgt. Riley said. "[And] because we've traced it back to you, that's arson."
Lafayette Mayor, Tony Roswarski, wants to cut down on the cigarettes on the ground as well, especially at bus stops. There are now more bus stops in the community, but because of financial reasons, there aren't trash cans at every stop. Officials at City Bus said there is no excuse for littering at bus stops because there is a trash can on every bus.
"We encourage our passengers to always bring their trash, whether it's a cigarette butt, a can, or newspapers, onto the bus," City Bus Manager of Operations, John Connell, said. "We have proper receptacles to place [the trash] in."
Mayor Roswarski said if the bus stops can't be kept safe and clean, they may just have to be removed.
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