Third House Measure in Five Years Filed To Ban Smoking in Vehicles Carrying Minors
OKLAHOMA CITY (21 February 2017) – For the third time in five years legislation has been filed to statutorily forbid smoking in a vehicle in which a child is being transported.
House Bill 1344 by Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester, would make it illegal for the driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle to smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars “if a child is also present” in the vehicle. The fine for violating the proposed law would be $20, equivalent to the penalty for a seat-belt violation.
“A lake patrolman from McAlester asked me to run this bill, and it sounded like a good idea,” Condit said.
HB 1344 cleared the House’s Public Health Committee on a 7-1 vote Tuesday. The next step would be placement on the House calendar for a floor vote on the proposal.
Two years ago Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, filed HB 1341, which would have decreed, “No person shall smoke in a motor vehicle in which there is a child present.” The measure was referred to the House Committee on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances, where it died without receiving a hearing.
Four years ago Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, introduced HB 2013 to forbid smoking in a vehicle transporting a minor. The bill was assigned to the House Committee on Public Health, where it, too, died without receiving a hearing.