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Driving While Smoking Banned in Vehicles with Children

From October 2015, driving while smoking in vehicles with children as passengers will be banned. Book Theory Test Today looks at the implications of this new law. Book Theory Test Today says: “It would appear that highway authorities are on a mission at present. Firstly, new drug-drive laws have been introduced, mobile phone use at the wheel has hit the headlines again and now driving while smoking has become a target.” The law, which has already been introduced in Wales, will take effect in England on October 1, 2015. The purpose of banning driving while smoking with children present in the vehicle is to protect the health of young people, under the age of 18, from the effect of second-hand smoke. Motorists caught flouting the new rules face a fine of up to £50.

Victory against driving while smoking

Book Theory Test Today says: “The British Heart and Lung Foundation describe the ban as a significant victory.” However, smokers’ group, Forest, said that the law would be impossible to enforce. Furthermore, while many are in favour of a ban, some motorists claim that it’s just an unnecessary intrusion.

Driving while smoking ban not applicable to all motorists

Individual motorists and those driving a convertible vehicle with the roof down will be exempt from the new rules.

Regulations passed

The new legislation was passed in the House of Commons with 342 MPs voting in favour of the new restrictions, while only 74 voted against the proposals.

Exposure

The British Heart and Lung Foundation estimate that over 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles on a weekly basis. The effects of passive smoking can lead to health risks such as asthma, cot death and meningitis according to a number of public health experts.

Significant step to ban driving while smoking

Jane Ellison, Britain’s Public Health Minister, said: “Three million children are exposed to second hand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk. We know that many of them feel embarrassed or frightened to ask adults to stop smoking which is why the regulations are an important step in protecting children from the harms of second-hand smoke.” Chief Executive of the British Heart and Lung Foundation, Penny Woods, said: “This is a tremendous victory. We urge the Government to show the same commitment to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products, in order to protect the 200,000 children taking up smoking every year in this country.” She added: “We are certain that these measures together will prove to be two of the most significant milestones for public health since the smoke-free legislation of 2007.” However, Director of smokers’ group Forest, Simon Clark stated: “The legislation is excessive. The overwhelming majority of smokers know it’s inappropriate to drive while smoking when children are in the vehicle and they don't do it. They don't need the state micro-managing their lives.” He concluded: “The police won't be able to enforce the law on their own so the government will need a small army of snoopers to report people.” Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today...


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