Ban smoking while driving14th May 2007
Road safety officers have asked the government to ban drivers from smoking in order to reduce the number of accidents.
The Highway Code states that smoking while driving is a distraction.
Members of the Local Authority Road Safety Officers' Association will meet government officials to discuss the proposal. The Department of Health stated that it did not plan to set up a ban but if the association put forward a proposal, it would consider one. The proposal has been backed by the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health.
Simon Ettinghausen, of the Local Authority Road Safety Officers' Association, stated that smoking was hazardous and distracting to drivers. He said there were worries that anti-smoking ban in public places - which will be introduced on 1 July throughout England - might entice greater numbers of drivers to smoke while driving.
Mr Ettinghausen said: "Anything you do in the car is a distraction, whether it's eating, drinking, using a mobile phone or smoking. But smoking in particular can be very dangerous. If you drop a lit cigarette, your concentration on driving will immediately vanish."
Simon Clark, of pro-smoking association Forest, said that evidence had not been put forward which proved smoking was dangerous. He asked: "Are we going to ban people retuning the radio or changing a CD?"
Hugh Bladon, of the Association of British Drivers (ABD), stated: "We've got a 'ban it' mentality in this country. I personally don't think the ABD will want to know about banning smoking."
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Title: Ban smoking while driving
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 2824
Date Added: 14th May 2007