New York Assemblyman David Weprin has proposed a law banning smoking with children in the car. The bill stalled in the New York State Assembly last year, but will be reconsidered this August. The statute is designed to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. If the law passes, New York would join Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine as the fifth state to ban smoking with children in the vehicle.
The law would ban adults from smoking with children under the age of 14 in the car. Violators would be fined $100. There are no defenses to this regulation. It would apply regardless of whether the driver is the parent of the child or not. Further, rolling down the windows will not absolve the driver of the law.
The NY Daily News reports Assemblyman David Weprin saying, “The bill doesn't violate constitutional rights … and is similar to seat-belt laws and bans on texting while driving. If cops believe a driver is in violation, they can stop the vehicle and question the passengers' ages.”
Smoking with child in the car was previously banned in Rockland County. “The Rockland County Kids In Cars Smoking Safety Act,” is a local law prohibiting smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 18. The first violation is a criminal violation, punishable by a fine up to $150.00. Subsequent violations are punishable by a fine of as much as $250.00.
Nassau County is considering a similar bill. The bill, proposed by New York State Legislators Judi Bosworth and Judy Jacobs, would make it illegal to smoke in the car with a child under the age of 18. However, the proposed Nassau law has major teeth in it—violators would pay a hefty $1,000 fine!