Smoke free driving do’s and don’ts

On 1st October 2015, a new “smoke-free” driving law came into effect which made it an offence to smoke or fail to prevent smoking tobacco in an enclosed vehicle that has someone under the age of 18 present.

From the outset, it was anticipated that the police would take a more educational rather than punitive line, however four months on, there seems to remain a large number of motorists who either aren’t aware of the new legislation, or who continue to disregard it.

With the potential impact on children’s health, along with the financial impact on your pocket in mind, here’s a reminder of the main points surrounding the offence:

Do’s and don’ts of smoking if there is someone under the age of 18 in your vehicle:

You can….

You can still “vape” and drive because e-cigarettes are not covered by the offence.

You can smoke inside a convertible provided the roof is down

You can smoke inside a campervan, motor home or caravan provided it is being used for accommodation.

A 17 year old driver can smoke inside their car provided they are the sole occupant

You can’t…

You can’t smoke any tobacco whatsoever inside a vehicle if someone under 18 is present.

You can’t allow someone else to smoke tobacco inside the vehicle  if someone under 18 is present.

You can’t smoke in a car with the sunroof open and all the doors open if someone under 18 is present.

You can’t smoke in the open doorway of a vehicle if someone under 18 is present.

You can’t smoke in a campervan, motor home or caravan whilst it is being driven if someone under 18 is present.

The penalty:

You won’t get penalty points on your licence if you commit this offence although you could face a £50 fine.

The police have discretion to warn you rather than impose the £50 fine immediately.

The case could go to Court if a police officer deems it necessary, or if you want to plead your innocence.

Article written by specialist motoring lawyer; Alison Ashworth, Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd.

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of Ashworth Motoring Law

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Ashworth Motoring Law are specialists in defending all types of driving offences. To discuss your case with one of our expert motoring law solicitors call our free motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770, email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk or make an enquiry using our online form. The specialist motoring law solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law look forward to hearing from you.

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