CAPE Town fire chief Ian Schnetler wants Capetonians to report motorists who toss cigarette butts out of their car windows.
Schnetler warned that motorists would be fined if caught. “Besides the possible fire risk, it is a pollution hazard,” he said.
The City of Cape Town launched the “stompie” hotline in 2007 after a devastating fire, allegedly caused by a cigarette butt thrown out of a car by a tourist, burnt tracts of Table Mountain and killed a British tourist.
Denzel Ramedies, the city’s fire and life safety head, said more than 1 000 warning letters had been sent to offenders last year and that two or three people had been fined.
Transgressors had been fined up to R1 500, he said.
Ramedies said all calls were followed up, but added that callers had to be willing to give an affidavit to the police about the incident.
“There can’t be any anonymous calls. You have to say exactly where the incident occurred, at what time, and give the vehicle’s registration number.”
Jaco Groenewald, head of the stompie call centre, said staff gave all the information to the fire department to investigate.
The city amended its fire safety by-law in June 2007 to make it easier to issue fines for throwing butts out of car windows.
It’s not necessary for the prosecution to prove who threw the burning item. Instead, the car owner will be held responsible.
The stompie hotline control centre number is 021 424 7715.