Saturday, 19 November 2011

Should we ban smoking in cars?

The ban that was guaranteed to have people fuming. Catherine Bennett. Guardian, 20th November

I actually support this measure. 
We need to understand what it is about an authority telling us what to do that makes us unhappy.
There are already restrictions that come to mind about car use, such as having laws against not wearing a seatbelt and driving while eating or on a mobile phone, speed limits, etc.
If we are already in a child like mindset where we do not take responsibility for ourselves, to not ban smoking in cars would perversely have the effect of encouraging people to smoke in the car.  It would send an implicit message that the authority figure we tend to look to to tell us what to do actually thinks it is ok.
This is the problem that is created when the government assumes responsibility for individuals.
If we are not to go ahead with banning smoking in cars, we should  repeal the ban on wearing a seat belt.  It doesn't endanger others and it just encourages people to look to the government instead of taking personal responsibility.  By doing that you may create a different mindset in people - one where you don't look to the government to tell you what to do, but think for yourself.  This mindset is more likely to be one that concludes that smoking in my car is not good for my children.
If they still choose to smoke, then at least they haven't broken the law and the rest of us don't feel like we have to do something about it.  On the other hand it may mean that people feel it is more their responsibility to confront the parent who smokes in the car with children in it, rather than thinking it is the police's responsibility.  If this were to be the case then this social pressure would be more effective than having a law which cannot be policed or enforced adequately due to lack of police resources. 

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