Could NJ Ban Smoking in Your Car When Children are Present?
A state Senate panel in New Jersey recently took into consideration and favored a proposed legislation that would bar smokers from lighting up in a car if a child 16 years old or younger is present in the vehicle as well. In an 8-0 vote, the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee passed the legislation. Arguments on the opposing side of this measure focus on privacy rights of the smokers. They disputed that the freedom to smoke in the privacy of one’s own vehicle is just the same as being allowed to smoke in the privacy of their own home without regard to the presence of any child under the age of 16.
Major concerns look to address the harmful effects of tobacco products in confined spaces, and attempt to protect the health of those children exposed to them. Banning smoking in vehicles when children are present may seem well intentioned to protect children, but the prohibition is virtually unnecessary.
The proposed bill comes with a $100 fine for violators, but has no associated points or surcharges. That’s not to mention the violator could only be cited if they were already stopped for committing a separate moving violation. Passing such a piece of legislation would not effectively put an end to smokers who light up in their vehicles while children are also present.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right”
State Senator Joseph Vitale of Middlesex County is the driving force behind this proposal. He stated that, “Driving is privilege, it’s not a right. Just like we have to obey the rules of the road in a manner that is safe, smoking in a car when a child is present is dangerous and should not be permitted.” It seems that the US Surgeon General and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) agree with Vitale; their studies have found that children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections. They further expended their findings to say that a child can experience asthmatic symptoms with as little as ten seconds of exposure.
For concerns related to this proposed bill, or any traffic violations you might have received, give me, defense attorney Leon Matchin, a call today for a free consultation at (732)662-7658. I have the experience to address any of your driving concerns and help you fight an unwarranted charge. With an uncountable amount of successes behind my record, why turn to anyone else?