Driving Smokers

As someone who for a long time rode motorcycles on his commute, and who now drives a convertible, I can say that there are some smokers who should be fined and incarcerated.

Note, while I am not a smoker (never been one), I don’t think it should be banned.

But, people who flick their ashes out the window of their moving car, and then who inevitably toss the butt out the window as well, those people need a special ring of hell to inhabit. YOu have an ashtray, use it. And for those who will pile on and say that most cars don’t come with them today, I respond thusly: All of them have a smoker’s kit as an option that includes the lighter, and an ashtray. Besides there are a large number of ashtrays that are designed to fit in a standard cup holder. If you can afford $6 a pack cigarettes, you can afford these as well.

Why do I hate it? I live in Arizona, where it get hotter than hades. So I ride in the summer with a ventilated jacket. But sometimes that is too hot, so I will partially unzip the main zipper. At 50mph or so, some jackass tosses a butt out the window and it strikes me mid chest. Then I have a burning cigarette butt in my jacket. Fuck.

Every state and municipality has laws against littering, and penalties that escalate if the litter is burning, but from the number of butts on the side of the road, it apparently is even less observed than speed limits. Sigh.

One day, I pulled up to one of these people (who had just tossed a butt out), and asked her why she doesn’t use the ashtray. Her response: I don’t want to dirty it, a used and dirty ashtray lowers resale value (this was in a $50K BMW). Uh, hello, just by smoking in your car, you lower the resale value. That is no excuse.

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