A call for views on legislation which will create a new criminal offence for adults who smoke in a motor vehicle in the presence of a child has been launched today by the Health and Sport Committee.
The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill aims to protect children from second hand smoke and has been introduced by Jim Hume MSP.
Within the Bill, Police Scotland would be responsible for enforcing the legislation. Alleged offences would be subject to trial under summary procedure with a maximum fine of level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000). Police officers would also have the option of issuing a fixed penalty notice as an alternative to prosecution.
Deputy Convener of the Committee, Bob Doris MSP said:
“It is clear that the aim of the legislation is to ensure that children grow up in a smoke-free environment but it is the job of this Committee to scrutinise the detail behind the proposed legislation.
“Our Committee looks forward to hearing from individuals who may be affected, organisations that will be impacted upon and interested stakeholder groups on the likely effectiveness of this Bill if it was passed.
“This will enable the Committee to consider the wider implications of this proposed legislation, including how to best enforce the provisions contained in the Bill.”
The Committee is asking for views on the following:
- Do you support the Bill? Please provide reasons for your position.
- Do you think the Bill (if enacted) would achieve its aim of protecting children from the effects of second-hand smoke and their health?
- Is there anything in the Bill you would change?
- Who do you think should have responsibility for enforcing the proposed legislation and why?
- What type of vehicles do you think should be exempt from the legislation and why?
- What is your view on the Bill’s provision for a defence that the person smoking could not have reasonably know that the other occupants of the vehicle were under 18?
The Committee’s call for views is open until 27 May.