Council smoking crackdown
Published 16 Jul 2012 13:30 1 Comment
CLACKMANNANSHIRE Council is cracking down on smoking in taxis within the Wee County.
This week taxi and private hire drivers within the local authority area have been warned that they face a hefty fine if they smoke, or allow passengers to smoke, in their cars.
On 26 March 2006, The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006 created offences relating to smoking in certain no smoking premises.
This includes any vehicle available to the public as a means of transportation and includes any taxi and private hire car.
Vice-convenor of the council's licensing board, councillor Les Sharp, said, "The absence of a roof sign or plates does not exempt a taxi or private hire car from the legislation, even if at that particular time the vehicle is being used for the private purposes of the owner or driver.
"Such a vehicle can only be considered to be a private car again, when the plates for the vehicle have been surrendered and it is declared that the vehicle is no longer to be used as a taxi or private hire car."
The council has reported that a number of drivers have been caught smoking within their vehicles.
The offence of smoking within no smoking premises carries a maximum fine of £1,000 and allowing another person to smoke in no smoking premises carries a maximum fine of £2,500.
The act allows for offences that are detected to be disposed of by issuing a fixed penalty notice to the individual involved.
Councillor Sharp added, "Smoking in taxis in Clackmannanshire is a matter that the council has received a number of complaints about.
"The council has 15 enforcement officers who investigate these matters and monitor compliance where required. Fixed penalties are only issued where there is clear evidence of an offence being committed, this evidence comes form the officer's own observations, and is usually coupled with evidence of a smell of fresh tobacco smoke from the vehicle and the tell tale traces of ash and tobacco both on the inside and outside of the vehicle.
"Where there is any doubt that an individual is smoking and committing an offence the benefit of that doubt will always be given to the alleged offender."
The Smoking Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 also requires any person who has management or control of no smoking premises which are vehicles to display a notice in a conspicuous manner so that it is visible to persons approaching and persons within the vehicle.
Councillor Sharp went on, "Enforcement officers employed by Clackmannanshire Council have and will continue to carry out regular checks in relation these matters.
"Fake and electronic cigarettes are not covered by the smoking ban and as such Clackmannanshire Council has no policy on the use of these devices in enclosed public places and vehicles."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 16 Jul 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jul 18, 11:15
as a taxi driver myself, im all for it!! to many taxis still stink of cigarettes...when the council are at it, it does say on your license conditions that you are not allowed to wear baseball hats, but other hats are ok???? i have removed mine, but other drivers still wear one, especially @ night time!! why baseball hats?? is it alleged by the council we are nerds!! tiger woods, michael scuhmacher are among top sports stars who wear them, are they "neddy"???
i was told i would have an answer to this, but alas, nothing....what is the difference between a baseball hat, and any other hat?? nothing as far as im concerned ..................
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Jul 21, 11:33
This comment is currently in a queue awaiting moderation.
Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser Poll
Do you agree with the introduction of a 'Bedroom Tax'?
This Poll is now closed.