Adults would be prohibited from smoking inside vehicles that also contain minors, under legislation to be heard today before the Senate Transportation Committee.
"Adults who smoke in cars while children are present are essentially forcing their young passengers to breathe secondhand smoke," Sen. Scott White, the bill's sponsor, said. "With more children being diagnosed with asthma and other breathing illnesses than ever before, we must do what we can to protect young people from exposure to secondhand smoke."
Senate Bill 5016 would make it a secondary offense to smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes in vehicles with minors present. This means drivers could be detained only if they are first pulled over for a primary driving infraction. The citation would not go on a drivers’ record.
“At least five other states, including California and Oregon, have already banned smoking in cars when children are present and it is time for Washington to do the same,” White said.
Similar legislation was introduced in 2008 but the proposals failed to pass the House Floor.