News from Steve O'Connell: Just two drivers caught smoking in cars with children since ban
Figures in first nine months ‘show ban is unenforceable’
Just two drivers in London have been caught smoking in their car with a child since an England-wide ban was introduced last year, new figures show.
The legislation was hailed as a ‘tremendous victory’ by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) when it came into force on October 1, despite critics claiming it would be impossible to police.
Numbers obtained by Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell show little is being done to catch drivers flouting the new law.
The data shows just two drivers were stopped by Met officers in the first nine months of the ban, despite the BLF claiming last year that more than 430,000 children were being exposed to second-hand smoke in cars every week.
The number of stops was revealed in a written question to the Mayor by Assembly Member O’Connell, who believes the ban is unenforceable.
“These figures clearly show the ban is one the police cannot enforce.
“The health of children is of course very important but these new laws are impossible to police when officers have so many other higher priorities.
“Just because the police cannot tackle the problem, it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Given that the Met is unable to provide a deterrent, I hope the Mayor will look at other options to prevent children in London breathing second hand smoke in cars.”