B.C. sets $109 fine for people smoking in cars with kids under 16
Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 21:41
B.C. drivers who smoke with kids in the car will face a $109 fine under new provincial regulations that take effect next month.
Starting April 7, police will have the authority to stop any vehicle if they suspect someone is smoking in the presence of a child under the age of 16.
Healthy Living Minister Mary Polak and Public Safety Minister John van Dongen announced the fines Wednesday, saying the aim is to protect vulnerable children who are confined in a vehicle with an adult.
"Any level of second-hand smoke has harmful effects on a child's health," Polak said in a statement.
The new measure was passed by the legislature a year ago.
Barbara Kaminsky of the Canadian Cancer Society said the dangers of second-hand smoke are heightened in the enclosed space of a vehicle, where children have no choice but to breathe the smoke.
Van Dongen warned that people who don't pay the fine won't be able to renew their insurance or driver's licence.
British Columbia joins Nova Scotia, Ontario and the Yukon in banning smoking in cars where children under 16 are present. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have said they will enact similar bans.
In Ontario, drivers caught smoking in a vehicle with a minor present face fines up to $255 since the law took effect in January.
Source: The Canadian press