Fleet News

BT leads the way with smoke ban in its cars

BT has banned its employees from smoking in company vehicles.

The group is forbidding staff from lighting up in offices, cars and vans worldwide from this month and now executives at LeasePlan are calling on the industry to follow suit.

BT’s introduction of the ban on March 26 coincides with anti-smoking legislation coming into force in Scotland that bans smoking in vans, but not cars.

Legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland banning smoking in public will come into force next year.

Dr Paul Litchfield, BT’s chief medical officer, said: ‘We are trying to promote good health among our staff which is why we are offering support to help people give up smoking. I hope this will encourage people to give up.’

Commending on BT’s decision, David Brennan, managing director of LeasePlan, said: ‘It is a move which we wholly endorse. It also sends out a clear message to other companies that they should act now rather than wait until the smoking ban comes into force next year.

‘We would encourage other companies to take a similar stance to that taken by BT and implement a fleet policy banning smoking in their vans and company cars. We would also recommend they implement this policy sooner rather than later so that they are fully prepared when the new legislation comes into effect.’

Meanwhile, Lex Vehicle Leasing is predicting ‘admin headaches’ for Scottish fleets responding to this year’s legislation.

It is now supplying all new vans across the whole of the UK with a sticker reinforcing a smoking ban in the vehicle.

Lex will supply the double sided window stickers and let fleet operators make their own decision as to whether they are fitted.

But bosses worry that the March deadline will not be met by Scottish fleets because of confusion about the process to report drivers that have been smoking in their vehicles.

It predicts that firms will have to set up hotlines for people to report drivers smoking on the road, piling on administrative burdens.

Managing director Jon Walden said: ‘We have also had it confirmed that Scottish police will be checking vehicles to ensure they have a no smoking sticker inside the cabin.

‘They have said they will be taking the new legislation seriously and will be running spot checks to ensure drivers have been educated about the no smoking ban.’

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