Is This A Slippery Slope To Criminalizing Vaping In Cars As A Driver AND Passenger?
I’m always suspicious of media stories that say ‘it’s not yet illegal…but…’ as it’s usually an early warning that it soon will be illegal or most definitely ‘could be’.
In this case I’m obviously talking about the possibility of vaping becoming illegal whilst driving.
Right now it isn’t illegal – but the PR department of the UK police seems to have gone into full ‘it could be soon’ mode with officers across the country giving dire warnings and quotes to local and national news outlets.
Here’s just one officer – Sergeant Sergeant John Davis of Surrey Police:
Any person who is distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping or eating.
With regards to a scenario where someone could potentially be either distracted or have reduced visibility then there is potential for a crash but it’s certainly not something we have come across – whereas mobile phone distraction is a regular distraction that we come across in fatal/serious collisions.
Now that suggests to me ‘something stirs in ‘PoliceVille’ and this is a gentle paving of the way for a specific law to come into force – sort of testing the water if you like.
Remember what he said:
…it’s certainly not something we have come across…
Unless of course vapers – all of them – take heed and don’t write the law for them by driving with clouds for days spewing out of every window…
OK now I understand why smoking was made illegal in cars with children and to be honest it really didn’t need a law and enforcement – it goes back to the old phrase of mine education not legislation.
Common sense and indeed decency should have prevailed.
However such is the selfishness of many smokers out there – they would still be blowing out poisonous toxic fumes doing untold damage to developing lungs and hearts.
That kind of wilful ignorance is sadly best dealt with by the law.
However statistics released last summer shows there has only been ONE prosecution in the two years the ban had been in force.
That can either be read as smokers have realized they’re killing kids OR more likely it’s Police simply not catching them.
I know exactly what I’d do if I saw someone doing it and it wouldn’t be a case of calling the old bill…
I get why mobile phones are now illegal to be used whilst driving – they do of course distract – yet stand watching drivers for 5 minutes on any road and you’ll see many of them doing it still.
So Should Vaping In Cars Be Made Illegal?
So what about vaping?
Should it be illegal to vape in a car whilst driving OR as a passenger?
No – we don’t need a law – what we need is the powers that be recognizing that we vapers aren’t stupid – well most of us aren’t.
Anyone who drips – cranks up the wattage and chucks clouds whilst roaring down a motorway or even crawling through a town centre should of course be pulled over – read the riot act and fined for driving whilst distracted.
But to bring in yet another law that in effect criminalizes vapers with more than one brain cell – most of us I would hope given the healthy choice we’ve made – is just wrong.
Indeed as I’ve stated many times the law loves a precedent and if vapers can be fined SPECIFICALLY for vaping whilst driving – where will it end?
I mentioned education – I mean do we really need to be told vaping 100w whilst driving at 70MPH is dangerous and might blur our vision?
As daft as it seems maybe some of the cloud chucking snap back cap wearing boy racers might need a reminder – but the rest of us?
No absolutely not.
Hands up how many drivers out there vape either low cloud/wattage whilst driving and do it sensibly?
Hands up how many of you cloud out your car and drive into pretty much a dense fog with zero visibility?
You see up to now and a bit like the desperate need of the state to usher in the TPD – we have policed ourselves very well indeed on this issue by using that old grey matter this nanny state of ours refuses to accept we have.
Move To Ban Vaping In Taxis
Interestingly enough only last week a West Yorkshire UK council – Calderdale – who obviously have a lot of time on their hands – were mulling over banning vaping in the town’s taxis.
There’s currently a ban on vaping taxis in Bradford with Leeds looking to follow suit.
Now just because I personally wouldn’t bother doing it or even asking – doesn’t mean to say many others might.
The Freedom to Vape Campaign has picked up on this and has written a very strong letter to the council in question.
They say the decision should be down to the individual driver as it’s pretty much his/her workplace.
The Freedom To Vape spokesman Andrew Allison said:
None of the reasons for the ban are justified.
It’s just council officers displaying their prejudices.
And if Calderdale Council is like many councils in the country, councillors will agree to officers’ demands.
The FTV is now asking vapers to contact them with information about the taxi vaping policy in their towns and cities.
As far as I’m concerned criminalizing vaping whilst driving or as a passenger is a slippery slope.
I just hope the tiny percentage of morons out there get it and stop turning their cars into mobile fog machines.