A North Devon taxi driver who threw an empty packet of cigarettes out of their vehicle has been handed a fine.

North Devon Council (NDC) took action against the driver after the offence was reporter by a member of the public who witnessed it.

The report led to the council issuing the driver with a fine of £100 for littering from a vehicle.

The action follows the introduction of new legislation which gives local authorities the opportunity to send fixed penalty notices through the post to a vehicle's registered keeper.

NDC environmental protection officer Alan Kyle said: "Thanks to a concerned member of the public we were able to trace and prosecute this offender for littering from a vehicle.

"The new legislation is designed to assist investigating officers and to make vehicle drivers more responsible for what happens inside their vehicles.

"Throwing litter from a vehicle around the district will not be tolerated and fines will be issued.

"Litter is unsightly and detrimental to the local environment. In addition, any public carrying vehicles found committing offences will also have the incident reported to the relevant licencing authority."

The action is part of a running initiative from the council to take action against anyone found littering or fly tipping in the district.

Council leader David Worden said: "The council is proud of its work to crack down on littering, fly tipping and environmental offences that have a negative effect on our district.

"It's encouraging that local residents are right behind us with this, getting involved and bringing these incidents to our attention."