Law would ban smoking in car when children are present
By Jackie Orozco, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Lawmakers have banned smoking from restaurants and bars. Now, the government wants to ban you from smoking in your car.
House Bill 341 prohibits adults from smoking inside a car when minors are present. Five other states have similar laws. If passed in Florida, it will be a non-moving violation, or secondary offense, and carry a fine of about $30. Bill sponsor Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, says the fine is not the point of this bill.
"What I'm really trying to do is to educate the dangers of second hand smoking," said Rep. McBurney. "This isn't about ‘big brother,' this is about little brother in a car seat, in the back seat. This bill is simply to protect children; it has nothing to do with adults."
Parents love the idea.
"I'm 100 percent for it, because I've said this all along that it should be against the law to smoke in the car with your children inside and when the windows are up," said an Orlando mother Heather Diehl. "You're exposing them to second hand smoke and when you smoke in the car it's on the seats that's all third hand smoke and that's very, very dangerous for them, it shouldn't be allowed."
Mark MacFarlane has a 3-year-old son. He doesn't like when "big brother" infringes on people's rights but feels differently about this bill, because it deals with kids.
"I don't think kids can be their own advocate. We are their advocate and we should be out for their best interest. So if a child was over 18 maybe they can make their own decision," said Mark MacFarlane.
The bill was filed last week. It will be up for debate early next year.