The Law Is Changing - It's Time To Put The Brakes On Smoking
From the 1st October 2015, it is against the law to smoke in your vehicle whilst anyone under the age of 18 is present. If you are caught doing so you can be fined £50.
RAC research has found that 90% of drivers are aware of the new law, but 9 in 10 drivers believe there will be insufficient police officers to enforce the law:
It sounds simple on the face of it – don’t smoke in your car with children present! But, as with all laws there are exceptions! Here is everything you need to know about the new law-
- The law will apply to all drivers. If you are 17 and smoking in your vehicle with a person under the age of 18 present you will be fined.
- The law applies to any driver, even those who are driving on a provisional licence.
- The law will hold the driver of a vehicle responsible for the actions of all passengers. For example, if one of your passengers is smoking with a person under the age of 18 present in your car, both you as the driver and the smoking passenger will receive the £50 fine. As the driver you will receive this fine whether you are smoking yourself or not.
- The law will apply to any vehicle that is wholly or partially enclosed. This means opening the sunroof and windows will not protect you from the fine. You can also be fined if you are caught sitting in the open doorway of a vehicle smoking, whilst there are children in the vehicle. Even if the engine is not on you can be fined.
- The law will apply to caravans, campervans and motorhomes when they are being used as a vehicle. The law will not apply when these vehicles are being used as a living space.
- What about a 17 year old child smoking in their own car? In these circumstances the 17 year old driver will not be fined.
- If you are smoking in a convertible with the roof fully down you will not be fined if there is a child in the car with you.
- The law does not apply to e-cigarettes.
There will there be many health benefits to the new law. It is thought second hand cigarette smoke is responsible for a wide range of health issues such as bronchitis, asthma and glue ear. Second hand smoke is especially harmful to children as their airways, lungs and immune systems are still developing.
There will also be financial benefits when you come to resell your car – Autorola estimated smoking in a car will reduce value by between £250-£500 depending on the make and model.
So it’s time to put the brakes on smoking.
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