In the United Kingdom, police are warning drivers to beware of vaping while driving as it can cause a distraction and a potential fatality. While it is not illegal to use a vape while operating a vehicle, police are warning drivers to be careful while vaping inside a car since the big clouds could potentially obscure vision.
As reported by Unilad, police are warning drivers in the UK that vaping in a car could result in a prosecution, demerit points on the license, a fine of up to 2,500 pounds and a possibility of losing their driver’s license.
While it is not illegal to use an e-cigarette while operating a vehicle, police say that it is dangerous to vape in a car because the big, dense clouds can obscure vision and can potentially cause a crash. According to the Daily Mail, new statistics in the United Kingdom show that more than three million people use e-cigarettes with a majority of them smoking behind the wheel.
Sergeant Carl Knapp, who is with the Sussex Road Policing Unit, said: ‘the smoke caused by vapes is a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality.’
The officer who has been with the force for more than 22 years continued by saying: ‘there are no laws prohibiting vaping, however, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times. If you are going to vape I advise that you open your windows and blow the vapour directly out, just ensure that you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.’
While there are no direct laws that prohibit drivers from vaping inside a vehicle, it is up to the discretion of a police officer to decide what is and isn’t a distraction. Sergeant John Davis, who is with the Surrey Police, said: ‘any person who is distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping or eating. With regards to a scenario where someone could potentially be either distracted or have reduced visibility then there is potential for a crash.’
A road safety charity group in the UK which focuses on preventing road deaths and injuries has recently spoken out about the dangers of vaping while driving. A spokeswoman for their group said: ‘driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis; it is a complex task, that requires your full attention to do so safely. Vaping while driving increases your risk of crashing, causing visual disruption and physical and mental distraction. Attempting any type of activity that takes your eyes off the road increases your chances of causing a crash, and killing or seriously injuring someone. Our roads are busy places, and we would urge drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.’
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