From October 1st this year, travelling in a car is going to get a bit more pleasant for under 18s. Drivers in England will be banned from smoking in their car, if in the presence of children.
Those who ignore the new law could face a £50 penalty fine, but those in convertibles needn’t worry as the ban will not apply to them. So, great news for our childrens’ lungs!
The Danger Of Second-Hand Smoke
The risks associated with inhaling second-hand smoke are well documented of course, but when it comes to youngsters the danger increases. According to the British Lung Foundation, who have campaigned for five years for a change in the law, over 43,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars every week. This means more GP appointments, hospital visits and ultimately respiratory problems. This seems a natural step after the smoking ban in 2005 which concern enclosed spaces. Cars are arguably very confined spaces, often with little ventilation. A stuffy car is a perfect home for toxic chemicals to become concentrated and very dangerous indeed.
Naysayers have claimed this new law will be unenforceable. But it has worked for Wales, Canada and South Africa. As BLF Chief Executive Dr Penny Woods says: “Laws relating to smoking in work vehicles, wearing seat belts, and child car-seat regulations are already successfully enforced in this country, and no policing organisation has made any suggestion that enforcing the ban on smoking in cars carrying children would be any more difficult.”
Here at Automotive Garage, we are chuffed that spending time in cars will be a more pleasant and healthy experience for the nations youngsters. Aside from the obvious health implications, we’d hate to think of anyone being put off car travel and even driving themselves, due to a smelly, smokey car!