A number of new laws were introduced on 1st October that could directly affect a large number of motorists on the roads, in car parks, and even at the car showroom. While the ban on smoking in cars where children are present may be the most widely covered, car buyers now have greater rights when buying a car, and a ten minute grace period is now offered to any motorist that parks in a private car park and overstays their allotted time by ten minutes or less.
Anybody caught smoking in a car where a child aged under 18 is present can be fined £50 for the offence, and if they are not the driver of the vehicle, then the driver can also be hit with the same spot fine.
Some police forces have said that they will initially only caution those that are discovered to be breaking the law, while some police groups have said that officers will not enforce the law because they are not employed as health workers. A number of groups, and a large majority of motorists, have said that they do not believe the law is enforceable and that the police will not stop people for smoking, but may still charge people if they are found to be smoking in a car with children when they are pulled over for other motoring offences.
People parking in private car parks are to be allowed a ten minute grace period, and any fines that are levied within this ten minute window can be deemed illegal, according to the new rules, as long as the car was not parked illegally in the first place. The new law has been introduced after drivers have complained about disproportionate fines being levied against them when they have been only a few minutes late back to their car.
Finally, car buyers have a 30 day period during which they can claim a full refund from the vendor if the car is found to be faulty or not as advertised. Previously, the showroom only had to make appropriate repairs, but buyers can now demand a full refund.