New laws in VIC & QLD ban smoking in vehicles carrying children as of today

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Happy New Year from all of us at No BuTTs.

Smoking in vehicles with children is unacceptable - windows open or closed.Victoria and Queensland police will be able to fine motorists caught smoking while driving with children under new laws that come into effect today.

Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the air quality in a car filled with cigarette smoke was similar to that found in a "smoky pub", even with the windows wound down.

"There is no risk-free level of second-hand smoke in confined areas such as cars," he said.

"Banning smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 years will reduce children's exposure to second-hand smoke."  The age of children in QLD for the same laws is set at 16 years.

Smoking in vehicles with chidren is a form of child abuse.
In Victoria the maximum penalty for an individual breaking the new law will be five penalty units ($584.10) with an infringement penalty (on the spot fine) of two penalty units ($233.64). 

Queensland Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said the penalties were similar to those for people caught using a mobile phone while driving.  In justifying the new laws, Mr Lucas said children didn't ''have the ability to have a say''.

"If I'm a smoker and I'm with another adult and we're smoking in the car, well that's really my choice,'' he said.

"But kids don't have the ability to say, 'I'm hopping out.' They've got to go with Mum and Dad."

Smoking in Vehicles with Children is illegal.Disappointingly for Queensland's environment, and unlike every other State in Australia, there is still no method in place for the public to make a Citizen's Littering report when they see people littering their butts out of vehicle windows.

However, seeing as smoking in vehicles carrying children is now banned in QLD, we wonder if the QLD Govt will introduce a "Dob-in-a-Smoker-with-kids-in-the-car website link.


  By No BuTTs; Herald Sun; Queensland Times [1st January 2010]


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