The No Smoking Law That Has No Fire
Around 5 months ago a new law came into place effectively banning smoking in the vehicles we drive whilst there is a child as a passenger. It was aimed at protecting passengers or individuals particularly children of passive smoking and the health risks associated with it. But concerns have been voiced recently when it has been revealed that the largest Police force (Metropolitan) on the count has not issued a single fine for the offence.
Over this period only on 2 occasions was a driver stopped with children whilst smoking, but only warnings were issued no fines. This will come as a blow to those MP's who fought hard to get this new law into force. Clearly this law has good intentions, with 80% of smoke not even visible, it is possible that all passengers including children could be affected by it.
But how this law can be enforced is a critical question and what evidence the police would have to proved in order to get a conviction. Is it their word against the drivers, or does there need to be other evidence. Clearly it would be unfair to ask the child, or may not even be possible if the child is too young. having laws that are not easily enforceable is not a motivational factor in any police department. The basic fine is a £50 fixed penalty reduced to £30 if paid within the fortnight, hardly a deterrent and certainly much cheaper than the cost to administer the fine.
No one can deny the good intention, but the jury is out to whether this law will make any difference at all, or change anyone's smoking habits.
More reported here at the Telegraph