A driver from Kirkby has been fined £440 after he was spotted dropping a cigarette butt while driving his vehicle.
Dropping a cigarette butt is a littering offence and those spotted committing such an offence will be issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice. Failure to pay the penalty is likely to result in court action and a much more expensive bill including a heavy fine.
Wigan Magistrates Court heard that a male driver of a vehicle was seen by a Council officer dropping a cigarette end out of this vehicle onto Mill Lane, Skelmersdale.
This vehicle was traced back to a Mr Norman Bray of Heskin Close, Kirkby. Mr Bray was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75 but this was not paid. The Council then took the matter to the Magistrates Court.
Mr Bray did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. As well as his fine he was also ordered to pay costs of £397.14 and a victim surcharge of £44, a total of £881.14.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said: "By failing to dispose of his cigarette butt properly this man has landed himself with a bill of nearly £900. The Council is ambitious for West Lancashire to have a good quality, clean environment and this case should act as a warning that we will crack down on people who action litter and will take appropriate action against those found doing it.
"Cigarette butts account for 40% of all the litter dropped in the UK. They are an environmental hazard as the filters take up to 12 years to biodegrade and are harmful to wildlife. I would urge people to dispose of them carefully."