Smoking in a car with a person under 16 lands $227 fine

Brett Wortman

A CLOUD of smoke coming from a car window could cost the blower $227.

The Sunshine Coast Road Policing Unit has cleared the air when it comes to the rules on smoking in vehicles.

Section 26VC of the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 makes it offence for people to smoke in a vehicle while a child under the age of 16 is inside it.

While this offence comes under the Tobacco Act rather than transport regulations, it is a rule enforced by all operational police officers.

The fine for the offence is $227 but Acting Sergeant Mark Johnston says tickets are rarely issued as most motorists are responsible when it comes to smoking around young children.

Only 14 tickets were issued last year in the Coast region.

The offence does not carry loss of demerit points.

"People must be aware that this rule isn't just for the driver of a vehicle, but it applies to all occupants of the vehicle," Acting Sgt Johnston said.

"If a passenger in the vehicle is smoking whilst a person under the age of 16 years is in the vehicle, they commit an offence."

A person can be fined if the car is on a road or in a road-related area such as a carpark.

The car does not need to be moving for a person to be fined.

"For example, if a person is smoking in a car that is parked in a carpark when there is a person in the vehicle under the age of 16 years, then they commit an offence," Acting Sgt Johnston said.

There is also another offence of smoking in a public passenger vehicle.

This relates to taxi and buses and there is no requirement for a passenger to be under the age of 16 years.

In simple terms, if you smoke in a taxi or a bus, you commit an offence and can be fined $227.

Topics:  editors picks police smoking

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