A proposed bill to ban smoking in vehicles when a child of 10-years-old or younger is in the car as well has passed the Senate and is on its way to the House. Richland County Senator Darrell Jackson, who is sponsoring the bill, says the bill is intended to protect small children from the harms of second hand smoke in an enclosed area. He is confident the bill will pass but says it may not be until next year with the mandatory furloughs the General Assembly faces this year. Should the bill pass, South Carolina would become one of the first states to pass this law.
“If it passes the House, it goes to the governor to see if he decides to sign and my hope and prayer is that he will,” said Jackson.
“I don’t anticipate that he will not sign it. Then, it becomes a law and we become, I think, the fifth state to have enacted this law.
“Four or five years ago, no state had. Arkansas was the first state to have done so.”
Jackson says witnessing someone smoking in a car with a child promulgated the bill. “What facilitated this law was me seeing someone in a car and the child was in a child restraint seat,” he recalled.
“That was the original goal was to go after those who would smoke in the presence of a child that is in the back seat in a child restraint seat.”
Jackson says this bill in not intended to create a witch hunt. Instead, he wants to protect the younger children from smoke. According to Jackson, “we think again that we are going after the really, really small children on that which is really obvious that this child is under ten.
“Those (children) that are borderline, of course, there can be some question but I have all the faith and confidence in a law enforcement officers here that they would do the right thing on that.”