Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Va. Bill Would Fine Drivers who Smoke in Cars with Kids

Virginia legislators are moving to ban smoking in cars with children younger than 15.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Ralph S. Northam, D-Norfolk, would allow police officers to stop and ticket offenders. A fine of $100 would be issued at the time of the infraction.

The bill passed the state’s Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday and now heads to the full Senate.

Mr. Northam claims he is only acting “in the best interest of our children,” but critics worry that such a bill would philosophically open the door for legislators to target smokers in their homes.
That last point is pretty fair. We know how runs the shtick: first, they ban smoking in cars with little kids, and they tell us that it's ridiculous to assume this would lead to a smoking ban on private property. Then, when they move to ban smoking on private property, they conveniently forget their earlier denials and they say, "Well, you can't smoke in cars with kids. Why do you think you should be able to smoke in your house?"

That being said, I'm not entirely opposed to this law, or at least to its spirit. It's a tough one, and it'll be interesting to see where it goes.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we could legislate everything! Let's come up with some good legislation that will make us all healthier, happier, and less of a burden to anyone else! Let's use the model above: that police officers could stop and ticket offenders who:
    1. Have gone through a fast-food drive-thru with more than 1,000 calories per occupant;
    2. Are in possession of 3 dozen doughnuts with no resale authorization;
    3. Have not filled a legitimately-prescribed prescription for [cholesterol meds; bp meds; antidepressants or antipsychotics; geez, even VITAMIN D now that it is an Rx medication... ETC.]
    4. homeschool their children and thus deny them the 'proven' benefits of 'socialization,' not to mention FDA-sanctioned school lunch mandates.
    There are probably 1,000 or more other examples.