On October 1st 2015 drivers will not be able to smoke in their vehicle if anyone under 18 years old is with them. Is this good or bad for road safety?
Cleary it is aimed at reducing serious illness associated with smoking and therefore, in my opinion, has merit. Less smoke in the vehicle has to be better for everyone....right?
But what if you are addicted to smoking? Firstly, if you are then are you going to stop smoking when travelling with under 18 years old passengers? Also, if you do stop smoking will you be thinking about your driving all the next cigarette?
Often when I’m delivering fleet training drivers compare smoking with mobile phone use. Both are seen as equal distractions. The question I am asked, is why should hands-free mobile phone use be prohibited when people can be lighting up and smoking cigarettes whilst driving. I leave that question to you.
The question from me, is who is going to police this ban? I suppose the obvious answer is the police. However, is this really a police matter given the cuts they are faced with and an increasing demand upon their services to deal with things like crime, speed enforcement, patrolling accident hotspot areas and dealing with road traffic collisions and all of the other demands placed upon them ?
Is this is nothing more than a distraction from real road safety issues which focus on reducing the numbers of killed and serious injuries on our roads?
What do you think?
Alistair Stuart Director Celtic Driver Training Limited