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‘Tis the season

Thursday, Jan 23, 2014

* Lots and lots of new bills are being introduced, so, as always, keep in mind that a bill introduction doesn’t mean that it’ll pass. For instance

An Illinois driver who smokes while kids are in the car could get slapped with a fine under a proposal pending in the Illinois Senate.

The measure would make it a crime to smoke in a vehicle where a minor is present, punishable by a fine of up to $100.

Police wouldn’t be allowed to stop drivers for this offense alone, but they could ticket a driver for it if the driver is caught committing some other punishable offense.

A similar House bill didn’t even get out of committee last year. A resolution encouraging people not to smoke in their cars with kids present did pass on a voice vote, but it has no force of law.

* Back in 2007, then-Rep. Mike Boland got a lot of media attention for his own smoking ban in cars. His bill didn’t do so well

While opponents whistled the sound of falling bombs, proponents argued passionately for anti-smoking legislation aimed at protecting the health of young children.

House Bill 1769 went down in flames Thursday, garnering just 18 “yes” votes while the 91 opponents cheered.

The bill would have prohibited smoking in a vehicle with children ages 8 and under.

Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, sponsor of the bill, said he chose that age because children are in car seats until then. He thought it would simplify things for police officers.

Maybe this thing could move over time, or maybe it’ll just die like it always has. But a bill is just an idea at this point of the game.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    “Police wouldn’t be allowed to stop drivers for this offense alone…”

    This is just temporary, right?

    After 3-4 years the law will get changed to make it primary offense, right?

  2. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    I personally have no problem with this. It makes me angry when I see somebody smoking in a car with kids in it, especially a baby. If you want to kill yourself, fine. But use some common sense around kids. And before somebody pulls out the “it’s their right” argument, you don’t have a right to smoke and you certainly don’t have a right to abuse your kids, which is what I consider smoking around kids to be.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    I smoke. I smoke outside. I’ve never blown smoke at my kids.

    There’s no right to blow smoke in someone’s face.

  4. - Leave a Light on George - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    =There’s no right to blow smoke in someone’s face.=

    And let’s hope that we don’t become such a nanny state that it becomes a crime to do so in your own vehicle.

  5. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    ==And let’s hope that we don’t become such a nanny state that it becomes a crime to do so in your own vehicle.==

    I don’t care if you do. Just don’t do it around your kids.

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Regardless of the merits of such a bill, it is a waste of time. Legislators need to be worrying about bigger issues than cigarette smoke (or fake cigarette vapor like the Chicago City Council)

  7. - concern1 - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    And we are paying these so called elected leaders!!!! whats next a ticket for inhaling and exhaling over your allotted amounts per day?

  8. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    I remember the Left Lane Law passed in 2003. I guess it’s still a law, but does anyone remember it or even know about it? at least people may remember this one.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    Smoking is bad for your health. It’s even worse for your kids health and their developing lungs.

    Even so, two massive flaws exist with this “plan” that even I can see:

    1) We can trust most, if not all, Illinoisans to do as they see right by their kids. The very few numbskulls who are crazy enough to roll up the windows on a hot day, hit the “windows lock” button and blow smoke in their kids’ faces until a heavy haze hangs over the child seat are likely already on probation for some other numbskull thing they recently did, if not child abuse. And if not, well, your “rules ain’t going to stop me from lighting one up when I please”, anyhow.

    2) The car is a very personal area of private property. It’s similar to a house in this regard. If we actually believe our citizens are so dumb that we have to make this a law in cars, how long before we make it a law in personal homes as well?

    That’s a line I’m not comfortable crossing, even if smoking is absolutely gross.

    People have to make their own decisions at some point. And most of the time, they’ll make the right ones for themselves and their families.

  10. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    I remember the left lane law…especially when I’m behind some yahoo poking along in the left lane!

  11. - Empty Suit - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    I wonder how many of the anti smoke folks are in favor of legalizing marijuana.

  12. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Doesn’t need to be a primary offense. Seems to me one of the new laws classifies cigarette butts as litter. So if you toss your butt out of the car and get caught, you could get a fine not only for littering but a second fine if you have kids in the car.

  13. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Word, my Norwegian friend, I don’t want to sound too preachy but my mother died of lung cancer. As with all cancers, it was not a pretty sight.

    She was the youngest and first of a large strong-stock Norwegian farm family to pass. So far the rest of her siblings have lasted into the late 80’s.

    Please forgive the lecture, but we need your sage comments on this site for a long time. P.S. I have a food addiction to control.

  14. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    If I ever smoke around my kids in a confined space, I’m pretty sure my wife and entire family will smack me.


    Problem solved.

  15. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    What about smoking medical pot? Will that be allowed in your car in front of minors? Or only disallowed if you have a concealed carry card?

  16. - PhoenixRising - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rule 19(a) / Re-referred to Rules Committee

  17. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Speaking of obscure laws no one remembers, some driver stopped last night while I was in a crosswalk. I wasn’t in front of him/her either, I was crossing the street legally and the driver stopped to let me all the way across the street. I have never had that experience before, and that’s been the law since 2011.

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    This is total over reach. We elect these people that have no other better legislation then this to come up with? Seriously?

  19. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    I am a reformed smoker so you know how I feel about tobaco smoke. But, what’s next? Will indoor smoking be outlawed in one’s home when children are present? Will your kids rat you out?

  20. - been there - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Does DCFS still allow smoking in foster parents’ homes and other child care facilities? Day care centers? If it does, could we have a bill to stop all of that smoking, please? Those children are our responsibility as taxpayers, and we pay for their asthma treatments. Children in private cars may be our responsibility, too, but that’s a bit further removed.

  21. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    “Will indoor smoking be outlawed in one’s home when children are present?”

    Hopefully, once this law gets passed.

    One step at a time.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    This is a tough one. One one hand, it has infringement aspects all over it, but again, had it been in place 50-60 years ago, those long trips with Moms and Pop would have allowed us kids to enjoy the scenery (whatever there was to be had between Kankakee and Peoria)…..instead of a blue haze produced by numerous Kent and Lucky Strikes.

  23. - walker - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    What do we get filed per full session, 8,000 bills?

    Of which maybe 50,(plus appropriations bills), are worth spending time on.

    The rest are for ego, fund raising, and local PR purposes.

  24. - Ghost - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    if Cigarettes are legal, i think this is over reaching even though the conduct is horribly offensive.

  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 23, 14 @ 6:40 pm:

    Norseman, thank you for the kind words and concern.

    Outside of prohibition, which I think would be counter-productive, I’m supportive of all measures that discourage smoking or limit its exposure to others.

    I started smoking when I was 12. That’s what bad-ass long-haired country boys did back in the day. I cut a lot of grass and shoveled a lot of snow to support my addiction.

    Most of my crew kicked the habit over time, but I did not.

    I’m a junkie. It will be the death of me. It won’t be pretty. It will be a burden to my family.

    I can go without the booze, and in the hard times, I’ve gone without food, but I’ve never had a day where I didn’t have my Winstons. Not one. The Winstons come first. Always.

    Happily, my children have recognized my addiction and see it for what it is. They don’t smoke, thank God. They think less of me because I can’t kick, and they should.

    My Winstons took a lot of money off the table, and for that I’m profoundly ashamed.

    There’s been a lot of progress over the years in education about smoking and limiting exposure to smoking. Keep it going.

  26. - Ghosts Season Pass Free Ps4 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Not only that, it will also allow you to cut down the expenses of hiring someone to give away flyers
    to let the public know about the product.
    In every trade shows, there is only one thing in common, and that is different
    colorful banners that flourish on each booth. You can easily take the name off the badge
    and glue a new one.

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