restrict smoking in cars
February 5, 2012
that a child has no way to escape the harmful effects of secondhand
Columbus Democrat told a Senate committee yesterday that it’s time for
ban smoking in vehicles with passengers younger than 6.
especially dangerous in cars because the toxic air is much more
and smoke fumes in vehicles pose a greater risk for children,” said
Charleta B. Tavares, the bill sponsor.
The bill likely
will get more hearings, and the committee chairman, Sen. Tom Patton,
R-Strongsville, said he supports the idea.
separate bill that would ban texting while driving could be
in the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, with concerns from
and Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, about enforceability.
states have passed texting-while-driving bans, and House Bill 99 passed
House overwhelmingly in June. But it has not moved in the Senate, and
Senate Republicans talked privately yesterday, Niehaus said that
questions and the bill is “going to remain in committee for the time
“How do you
tell the difference between someone who is texting versus someone who
a phone number?” Niehaus said. “It’s going to stay in committee until
proponents are able to convince enough members that changes are needed.
is no urgency.”
the bill would continue to be vetted.
impossible, I think, for someone to determine if someone is texting or
or dialing,” he said. “The grave concern of mine is enforcement.”
he is “pretty much in favor” of the bill banning smoking in vehicles
children are riding, but he wonders how an officer will know whether a
age 5, 6 or 7.
think someone that young should be protected,” he said.
Columbus city councilwoman in 2004, Tavares successfully pushed for a
smoking in public places, two years prior to enactment of the statewide
LaRose, R-Fairlawn, said he was “intrigued” by the bill and would like
with Tavares on it. He and others on the committee said it should also
a public education component so that parents understand the dangers of
with a child in the vehicle.
the bill is likely to run into opposition from members who see it as
on personal freedom — an ideal that seems especially strong among some
lawmakers when it involves vehicles.
to act ends when it impacts another person’s health, especially a
Collart, president of the Breathing Association, a Columbus-based group
promotes lung health and preventing lung disease, said secondhand smoke
trigger asthmatic conditions and cause other problems, such as
noted that her own dad smoked, and she grew up suffering intense
certainly is not good for the developing lungs of a child,” Collart
seen children in smoke-filled cars, and your heart just goes out to the
who is trapped,” she added. “We’re in a society that does not tolerate
abuse. Far as I’m concerned, this is a form of child abuse.”
and other articles at the Columbus Dispatch