Is it Illegal to Smoke While Driving Your Subaru Forester?
The Subaru Forester is an excellent SUV for driving around town and taking out on the highway for a weekend away. Many drivers have conflicting ideas about the kinds of behaviours that are allowed whilst they are driving their cars. This can lead to legal problems with the Police and a great deal of confusion. Smoking is a key example, some drivers believe that it’s illegal to smoke whilst driving, but in reality, the situation is more complicated. Let’s take a look at smoking in cars and try to clear up the confusion.
Smoking in Cars
Here in Australia, it is illegal to smoke if you have a minor in the car with you at the same time. The exact penalties for this can vary a great deal depending upon the state that you’re in at the time. So, this is the one true constant that you can expect to attract the attention of the Police. It is not an offence to drive and smoke at the same time, but if you have a minor in the car with you, you are committing an offence. Let’s take a look at how this law varies in different states across the country.
Here in Western Australia, it’s illegal to smoke regular and e-cigarettes in a vehicle with a child under the age of 17 with you. If you’re caught violating this law, you could be looking at a $200 fine at a bare minimum. If the case ends up in court, the fine could rise to as much as $1000 in certain circumstances
In the Northern Territory, a quick search on their government page will confirm that smoking in confined spaces has been proven to increase any exposure to secondhand smoke inhalation. If you’re caught smoking in a car with a child under the age of 16 present, you could be subject to an on the spot fine or be issued with a penalty.
SA Health is the public health body for South Australia, and they have a detailed page on their website concerning smoking in cars. It’s illegal in SA to smoke a cigarette in your car with any passengers under the age of 16. It’s also been made clear that this piece of legislation applies to anyone in the vehicle (not just drivers) and it doesn’t matter if the car is parked or in motion at the time.
In Victoria, the rules are even stricter compared to the other states. A child here is defined as anyone under the age of 18 and those caught could be looking at a $500 fine. The law will be equally applied regardless of whether your car windows are up or down.
New South Wales
The New South Wales Health website is very clear in stating that smoking regular cigarettes or e-cigarettes in a car with a child under 16 years of age is illegal. This is strictly enforced by the NSW Police and those caught can expect a hefty fine.
Like many other states, the Queensland government has stated that smoking in a vehicle is illegal if there are children under the age of 16 present. However, they go further by stating that this is also true if the vehicle is being used for business and if there is more that one person present in the vehicle.
Australian Capital Territory
Legislation passed in 2011 has established that it’s illegal to smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes in a vehicle where children under the age of 16 are present.
In Tasmania, according to the Department of Health and Human Services website, it is illegal to smoke inside a vehicle with a child under the age of 18 present. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s even illegal to smoke in a work related vehicle with another people present too.
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