Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will make it an
infraction to smoke in a vehicle if someone under age 18 is present.
California motorists will risk fines of up to $100 next year if they
are caught smoking in cars with passengers under the age of 18.
The ban, which takes effect January 1, 2008, makes California the third state to protect children from secondhand smoke in vehicles, and is among a string of smoking prohibitions including a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces and within 25 feet of a playground.
According to a news release at Yahoo!, "The traffic stop would have to be made for another offense, such as speeding or an illegal turn, before the driver could be cited for smoking."
leads at least 20 states and a number of municipalities that have
considered limiting smoking in cars where minors are present, and joins
Arkansas (which bans smoking in cars with children age 6 and younger)
and Louisiana (which limits it when children 13 and younger are in the
vehicle) in passing such legislation. Maine lawmakers will begin to
consider the issue in January.
"Protecting the health of our children is among government's highest responsibilities," said the bill's author, state Senator Jenny Oropeza, a Democrat. "It is clear that increasing public awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke is the right thing to do."
Apparently, the Governator seems to have an agenda involving the safety of our children in cars. Recently Schwarzenegger also passed a law banning cellphone use by teen drivers. When it goes into effect on July 1, 2008, the law will prohibit all cell-phone use, including hands-free devices, by drivers under the age of 18.
By Brandy Schaffels
Photo coutesy of atmantis