A new law banning motorists from smoking in cars if under 18s are present has been branded “too soft” by the country’s leading traffic lawyer.
Ardent anti-smoker Nick Freeman said that whilst he was broadly supportive of the incoming legislation – which, from Thursday will see motorists fined £50 if they are caught smoking in a vehicle in the presence of a child – he also questioned how it would be policed.
Mr Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, who has never had a cigarette in his life, said: “Whilst I congratulate the government for attempting to restrict this odious and dangerous habit, I do have reservations: – Firstly, a £50 fine is no deterrent. It is simply too little.
If the government is serious about trying to rid this problem it needs to impose a penalty with teeth.
“In my view, the fine should be £500, and, for a first offence, the licence should be endorsed with six penalty points. If there are two like offences within a three-year period the defendant should be disqualified from driving for nine months.
“Secondly, who is going to police this problem? We live in an age of increasingly robotical policing, and, unless cars are fitted with smoke detectors, or cameras are extended to spy on what goes on inside cars, I fear the new legislation will do no more than pay lip service to a serious driving issue and health problem.”