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Motorists favour smoking ban, says IAM

More than half of motorists (56%) think that smoking while driving should be banned, according to a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). However, almost half of respondents (45%) think that such a ban would be unenforceable.

The IAM says respondents clearly have concern over the effects of smoking while driving, with 75% of motorists suggesting that lighting a cigarette while driving is a serious distraction.

Around one in two respondents (52%) think the act of lighting a cigarette is the greatest potential danger of smoking and driving. While just 2% believe that there are no dangerous elements to smoking while driving.

Company car and van drivers are not allowed to smoke in their vehicles, but the survey suggests smoking while driving is a road safety issue affecting all road users.

Other survey results reinforce the negative perception of smoking and driving. Respondents felt it was:

• Irresponsible (48%)
• As dangerous as using a mobile phone (46%)
• Dangerous (43%)

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Smoking is clearly seen as a serious issue by motorists and highlights the impact of distractions in the car.

“The health benefits may be clear but more research needs to be done to determine whether there are actual road safety grounds to act on these concerns by banning smoking and driving altogether.”

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  • Bucko - 17/04/2013 07:44

    Just because a person believes something is dangerous does not make it so. Less than 2% of all road accidents involve a person who was smoking. Maybe the people who responded to this survery simply don't like smokers? There's a lot of it about these days. Many people think smokers creep into nurserys and kill babies, the denormalisation has become so bad. Maybe we should just stop banning things. Cars are full of distractions. A good driver learns how to cope with them rather than expecting the government to ban them. I've smoked behind the wheel since I passed my test at 19 and it's never been a problem. I don't intend to stop now, just because some taxpayer funded busybodies have said that smokers are bad and should be persecuted

  • Neil Hudson - 17/04/2013 15:37

    Regarding a smoking ban being unenforceable, as a comparable model has the hand held mobile phone ban while driving been succesful? I estimate at least 10% of drivers I see regularily on the phone while driving. By far the greater issue would be to address the issue of tailgaiting.

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