From the first of next month UK driving regulations on smoking in your car are changing. You will no longer be allowed to smoke in the car with children present. Here is a full breakdown of the new rules.
The laws apply in both England and Wales and are designed as a preventative measure to stop all smoking in cars child passengers, which means anyone under the age of 18 inside any “enclosed vehicle”. Anyone who is caught breaking this law will be subject to an immediate £50 fine, and the law not only applies to the driver of the car, but also any passengers, with the driver being considered as ultimately responsible.
This law isn’t a unique piece of legislation, after similar things have been implemented in Australia, Canada, parts of Europe as well as certain US states. It has been implemented after worrying figures showed that more than 430,000 children aged 11 to 15 are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars every week in England.
Convertible drivers – before you go up in arms – don’t worry. Then ban doesn’t apply, assuming of course that the roof is fully down. However, having your window down or your sun roof open isn’t going to be enough, due to the fact the car is still largely enclosed. Certain semi-convertible designs, for example the Porsche 911 Targa or the Fiat 500C are also more likely not to be covered so if you’re not sure, play it safe.
Another important point of note is that this law is with regards to second hand smoke. If you’re 17, driving your own car with no passengers under the age of 18 you’re free to smoke. If you’re the passenger in someone else’s car, you make it illegal for them to smoke around you, so beware and don’t let your friends or family get caught out!
The rules also do not apply to e-cigarettes as they do not carry any second hand effects.