DO you light up behind the wheel and enjoy a drag while driving? Well, apart from the fact that it’s bad for your health, smoking in the ‘workplace’ – which could extend to the van you’re driving – is against the law.
And now, a survey by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has revealed that 56% of drivers think smoking while driving should be banned. But nearly half (45%) believe a ban would be unenforceable.
The survey showed serious concerns about the effects of smoking while driving with 75% of respondents considering the act of lighting a cigarette to be a serious distraction. Only 2% thought that there are no dangerous elements to smoking while driving.
All in all, the survey reinforced the negative perception of smoking while driving, with respondents considering it to be:
- Irresponsible (46%)
- Equally dangerous as using a mobile phone (46%)
- Dangerous (43%)
IAM chief executive Simon Best told Business Vans: “Smoking is clearly seen as a serious issue by motorists and highlights the impact of distractions in the car.
“The health benefits may be clear but more research needs to be done to determine whether there are actual road safety grounds to act on these concerns by banning smoking and driving altogether.”
This is more of an issue for business van managers than you might think. For example in Scotland van operators must display a no-smoking sign and not smoke in commercial vehicles – non-compliance is a £200 fine. Operators from England going into Scotland must also comply.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, smoking is prohibited in business vans where the van is likely or will be shared with another person. All such vans must carry a no-smoking sticker. Non-compliance is a £30 fine rising to £200 on prosecution.