Fleet News

Councils get tough over smoking ban

Fleets are starting to be hit as councils get tough enforcing the smoking ban. An enforcement officer issued a £50 fine to a driver for smoking in his boss’s vehicle. The driver, who has not been named, was working for a private company in north Wales.

Fleet managers had reported a “softly softly” approach by some councils after the new laws were introduced first in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and, most recently, England. But it is becoming clear that councils are inspecting company vehicles, especially vans.

Speaking at a discussion group for fleet managers, organised by Fleet News, delegate Ronnie Wilson, head of leasing at building services company NG Bailey, said, “Dundee council rang me recently and told me one of our vehicles had no stickers in it. We explained that it was an oversight and they were very good. They gave me a lot of useful advice, actually.”

Fleet manager at Yorkshire Water, Howard Hughes, received a phone call from another Scottish council, Aberdeen, which asked if it could send someone to the site office to explain the regulations and help the site manager to comply.

The £50 fine was issued by Conwy Council. Its head of public protection, Charles Phillips, said, “We have been sympathetic in the way we approached the ban and offered advice and support to businesses. The driver’s company had carried out its duties but he chose to disregard the law and his employer’s instructions.”

The council also warned that future offenders may be “named and shamed”.

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