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Police warning drivers who vape behind the wheel will be prosecuted

Have you ever seen a huge cloud of smoke coming out of a drivers window… Then they are Vaping and could be breaking the law.

Vapers are risking prosecution when vaping behind the wheel due to the likelihood that the smoke can cause the drivers vision behind to be obstructed reducing vision of other drivers which could lead to a crash.

Today RAC, has warned that driver could face the same penalty as they would if they were caught on a mobile phone.

Police have also added to this saying in certain circumstances vaping behind the wheel is against the law which could see drivers getting a three, six or even as much as nine points on their licence.

In more serious cases this could result in a driving ban, with an added fine of up to £2.5K.

The act of vaping itself is not against the law while driving it is the handheld electronic devices that have the potential to distract the drivers attention

One of the main concerns for police is the sheer volume of smoke produced when vaping which could easily obscure a driver’s view of the road.

Sergeant Carl Knapp, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “The smoke caused by vapes is a distraction, and the consequences can be dire.

“All it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash or, even worse, a fatality.

“There are no laws prohibiting vaping. However, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times.”

Sgt John Davis, of Surrey Police, added: “Firstly, any person who is distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping, eating, etc.”

He went on to explain that scenarios where motorists were deemed to be distracted by their e-cigarettes would be dealt with on a ‘case-by-case basis’.

He added that specific laws regarding vaping behind the wheel were unlikely to come into place any time soon.

Sgt Davis explained: “I am unaware of any studies, either in the UK or elsewhere, where the effects of vaping have been looked at. In investigations that we conduct, any distraction would need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

“With regards a national discussion, it hasn’t been raised as an issue, so it’s unlikely to be discussed at a national level. The Highway Code also covers distractions, as does the law.

“It would be impractical to bring in a law for any new ‘distraction’ that comes along. The mobile phone laws were brought in and then penalties increased because it became a very real problem.”

 

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Trevor Sherwood is the Editor of Police Hour. Trevor studied Crime and Investigation at Teesside Uni and has a background within policing.

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