Toss a cigarette out your car window and pay a thousand dollars

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR looked at another type of littering here in the Tri-Cities. You've probably seen a driver in front of you do this on the road: Litter out their window on the highway.

Troopers pull over about 50 people a year for this. About half actually get tickets. The Department of Transportation spends millions each year to clean up roughly five tons of litter across the state.

"The most common littering that we typically see on the highways in Tri-Cities is people throwing lit cigarettes out the window. It actually is a problem because it starts fires on the shoulders of the highway and ignites the dry grass, so it can be a problem in this area," said Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson.

A ticket for tossing a lit cigarette is over $1,000.