In a not-totally-unexpected move by the DVLA last week, it has been announced that from the 1st of October, 2015, it will be illegal to smoke in a car while being accompanied by anyone aged under 18. This is, of course, being done in an effort to prevent young people from falling victim to the perils of second hand smoke.
Who does it apply to?
Well, anyone in England or Wales who is smoking in a car while a minor is present. This could be either the driver or the passenger. It applies even when the driver is 17, regardless of them having passed or being on a provisional licence.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to the rule. Firstly, should the driver be 17 years of age and driving by themselves then they are allowed to to smoke (even though it is illegal for them to purchase tobacco). Secondly, this rule only applies to people driving
'any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle.'
So, smokers who drive convertibles with the top down (hence the cheesey title to this post) are exempt from the ruling and will therefore dodge any punishment.
The cost of such an infringement could be a fine of up to £50 to each the driver AND the smoker- talk about an expensive habit. It has yet to be specified if there will be any further penalty to repeat offenders.