Once again, another Nanny State law is creeping in under the radar.
I have several questions regarding this.
How is the law to be enforced? Are motorists to be spot checked to see if there is a child in the car? Most young kids can’t be seen in a car from any distance, so spot checking will be the only way.
When they find the law is virtually impossible to enforce are they just going to introduce a blanket ban? My guess is that they will, in which case I am going to appear before the courts on a regular basis as the government has no business telling me what I can and can’t do in my own car.
Are they seriously suggesting that a seventeen year old can legally drive a car but can’t smoke as he might unwittingly be a danger to himself?
From the outset, this is a nonsensical law that is being introduced to satisfy a few anti-smokers. While I don’t advocate smoking in a car with kids present, I can see no legal, logical or medical reason for this.
From the logic aspect, a child of smoking parents will experience smoke at home on a daily and constant basis, so a few minutes in a car is trivial by comparison.
I have yet to hear of a child developing cancer or heart disease as a result of travelling with a smoker. My generation was brought up in smoke filled cars and it did us no harm whatsoever. There are those who will play the asthma card, but I would ask them to explain how asthma is on a steady increase over the years, where smoking is generally on a decrease?
Could anyone who supports this law please explain to me [if they are so concerned about the child’s health] how it is right to ban smoking but also right to bring a child into a motoring environment consisting mainly of exhaust fumes?
In checking the background to this scribble, I visited the website of one Senator John Crown [the instigator of this law]. His reasoning behind this law is laid out in Nannying detail and includes a particularly nauseating paragraph –
“I will mention a young boy of seven years from County Wexford, Fionn O’Callaghan, who is known to the Minister and me. When Fionn witnessed someone lighting a cigarette in a car with children present, he took it on himself to write to the Taoiseach asking him to use his good offices to introduce legislation to enforce a smoking ban where children are present in a car. My understanding is this rather forward and highly talented young man also doorstepped the Minister for Health during a visit he made to Wexford. I also understand several organisations which have the word “Ógra” in their title may well be approaching Fionn with a view to his future career development. When he spoke to parliamentarians at an information evening held in the audio-visual room last week, Fionn made the case more eloquently than any of us older adults could do and stated it was wrong that somebody like him should, in an involuntary fashion, be forced to be exposed to the smoke of an adult who is not responsible enough to protect him or her from it. It is incumbent on all Members and part of our responsibility as parliamentarians to ensure the civil liberties and rights of our children to live, as far as possible, in an atmosphere that is protected from wholly preventable cancer and disease causing chemicals are vindicated.”
Young Fionn would make an excellent candidate for the KGB?