Councilor Bruce Christensen proposed the idea of banning smoking in vehicles with children at Monday’s Council Meeting.
He came up with the idea after see vehicles this past weekend with children strapped into their car seats while an adult had a smoke in the vehicle. [asset|aid=666|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=c92ca228bb2f4ff0c2f6199b7ab45470-Bruce – Smoking in vehicles_1_Pub.mp3]
Council agreed unanimously with Christensen and asked city staff to look into the idea of a ban. It was also suggested the idea could be brought forward as a motion at the next Union of BC Municipality Conference.
Once staff have the opportunity to research the idea, they will discover the Province of BC has already introduced legislation to change the Motor Vehicle Act. The changes will give Police the power to issue a ticket to anyone caught smoking in a vehicle with a passenger under 16 years of age.
BC Solicitor General John van Dongen introduced the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act in April of this year. Individuals found to be in violation of the legislation will be subject to find, and a failure to pay smoking violation fines will result in a refusal to issue drivers’ and vehicle licences.
BC joined a number of other jurisdictions in introducing legislation that bans smoking in cars when children are present, including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon Territory and the U.S. states of Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine.