By and large us motorists have always drawn the short straw when it comes to the various Governments handing out price hikes, crazy laws and budget cuts, over the years.
Road tax only ever goes up, but the amount spent on maintaining our roads seems to be drastically un-proportional to this. My lovely alloy wheels would certainly agree with this sentiment. But, every now and again, they do pass a law that makes sense – at least to me.
As of October 1 2015, if you enjoy a nice cigarette whilst driving you will no longer be able to do so if you have anyone under the age of eighteen sat in there with you. From the first of the month if you do this, you are breaking the law. This has obviously been done, and rightly so, to protect children and young people from the dangers of second hand cigarette smoke.
This doesn’t just apply to the driver, if a passenger lights up a fag, both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. This law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional license. Although, if you are 17 and are smoking on your own in the car, you’ve made the decision to slowly kill yourself, so the fine doesn’t apply to you.
This law has been put in place to stop a child breathing in any more harmful rubbish than it absolutely has to. Every time a youngster breathes in second hand smoke, they obviously inhale thousands of chemicals that can put them at risk of serious conditions. These include meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. It goes without saying that it wont do asthma sufferers much good, either.
If you have got a convertible car with the roof down, the law wont apply for obvious reasons, however the wording of the law applies it to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. You can’t get around it by having the windows or sunroof open; it still counts as a roof. Funnily enough, flicking on the air conditioning doesn’t count either.
If you are a smoker, you might also like to know that it also counts as a ‘nick’ if you sit in the open doorway of a vehicle in which under 18’s are present. So much like in pubs and public places, you need to be away from the car before you spark up.
Alternatively, you could make them all get out and stand a safe distance away whilst you enjoy your fag. Or, if you are that desperate to smoke in the car with your children in there, maybe you could cut the roof off. But that would be stupid…