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Smoking and driving


The UK's laws governing where and when you are allowed to smoke have gradually been tightened up over the years. Smoking in the UK is on the decrease. This is due to many reasons including better awareness of the potential health problems, and for some people it is considered a 'luxury' that they can no longer afford.

Whatever your point of view there is no doubt that being in a confined space with someone who is smoking is not only unpleasant, it can also adversely affect the health of those around them.

Smoking in your vehicle and the law

Introduced in 2007, the smoke free law states that it is illegal to smoke in a work vehicle or on any public transport. It is also an offence not to display no-smoking signs on public transport or in work vehicles.

Smoking in private vehicles is not an offence. However smoking is classed as a distraction in the Highway Code, along with such things as reading maps, playing loud music, changing CDs, arguing with passengers, eating and drinking. This means that if you are spotted driving carelessly or dangerously as a result of a smoking related activity you may be liable to prosecution.

Fines for smoking on public transport or in a work vehicle

If you smoke on public transport or in a work vehicle then will be liable to prosecution.

If you are caught smoking in these situations you could face a fixed penalty fine of £50, although this may be reduced if you pay within 15 days. If you are convicted in court for this offence you may be fined up to £200.

Fines for driving carelessly due to smoking in a private vehicle

If you are considered to be driving carelessly because you are smoking you could face up to 9 points on your licence, a driving ban or a fine of up to £2500 - depending on the circumstances.

Driving requires all your concentration in order to stay in proper control of your vehicle, and it only takes a momentary lapse to put yourself and other road users in danger of having an accident.

Throwing smoking related litter from your car

If someone throws a cigarette end or empty cigarette packet from their car they can be prosecuted for littering. Fines for this offence can range from £50 to £100 and possibly a lot more if the case goes to court.

If you have sustained an injury in a car accident that was not your fault, we may be able to help you injury compensation.

Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 or start your free claim enquiry online using the button below, and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.

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