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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Smoking, cell phone bans in vehicles sounds like a good thing

Posted Friday, October 5, 2007, at 8:46 PM

It's not often that I agree politically with anything that is ever done in Bloomington.

But the Monroe County Commissioners get my tip of the hat for saying this week that they may at least consider a smoking ban in cars carrying children younger than 13, if details about enforcement and penalties can be resolved.

Hooray. Mark it down. I agreed with something that is being proposed in "liberal-land."

Frankly, I would be elated to see the Greene County Commissioners enact a similar ban in vehicles, but first they've got to be convinced that puffing on tobacco products in public places -- including bars and restaurants --is bad thing in this county and snuff out smoking in those locations.

Nearby NSWC Crane -- with about 5,000 employees motoring into the military base each day -- has been under a smoking ban in vehicles for several years since the arrival of current commander Capt. Mark Welsh. From what I've heard from people who work there, the employees are dealing with this "get-tough" policy.

In February, the Indiana House rejected, 51-43, a bill to ban smoking in passenger vehicles in which children under age 13 are present. But the Monroe County Board of Health approved a local proposal Tuesday night. The proposal would have to be approved by county commissioners to be enacted.

Similar bans have been adopted for areas of Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, and New York.

Bans in other areas have differed in details.

The Arkansas law bans smoking in passenger vehicles carrying children younger than 6 in car seats. In Bangor, Maine, smoking is illegal in vehicles with passengers younger than 18.

The Associated Press reports that no city or county in Indiana is believed to have enacted a similar proposal, although the Indianapolis Airport Authority has included cars in its smoking ban on all airport-owned properties that begins Jan. 1.

How many people will have to die from second-hand smoke before the people making state and local laws wake up and do something constructive to protect those who do not wish to be exposed to it?

I realize that smoking is a "legal" practice that generates millions of dollars in tax revenues for our state and federal governments.

I know it's a choice that people make.

But enacting a law that stops people from consciously exposing our young children to the dangers of smoking while riding in a motor vehicle doesn't sound like a bad idea to me.

While we're talking about good ideas, how about the Gary City Council voting this week to ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones in the city starting Jan. 1.

Ouch. This one hits home.

The ban, modeled after a similar ban enacted in Chicago two years ago, was passed by a vote of 5-3. The ordinance requires drivers to use hands-free devices if they talk on the phone unless they are making 911 emergency calls or are talking while the vehicle is parked.

The ban does not apply to police officers or emergency vehicle drivers.

Violators will be fined $20 the first time they are caught and $50 for a second offense. If the ban is being broken when a traffic accident occurs, the additional fine would be a maximum of $200.


Can you imagine these days driving without a cell phone slammed against your ear? We did it for a long time before cell phones became such an essential way of life for all of us.

Can you say coin-operated pay phone?

And, to be real honest I'm guilty when it comes to frequently jabbering on the phone while commuting.

But you know what? I could really survive without it.

A little peace and quite while traveling might be pretty enjoyable.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I agree with lyons1, this is a law to protect children. They can not vote but I feel certain that they do not want to be breathing in all that secondhand smoke. But I disagree with the insinuation that smoking in a car means you do not care for your children. And I agree with america; we do seem to be moving more into the socialist direction. When government feels they know what is best for you (and I am not talking about smoking, but the many other intrusions into our personal lives), we are in dangerous territory as a free democracy.

-- Posted by RDK on Sun, Oct 7, 2007, at 9:25 AM

Being an ex smoker, I agree that children should be protected whenever possible but where does it stop? Give an inch and take a mile. Be careful what you support. It may just come back to haunt you. What would be next? Ban smoking in homes with small children? No drinking in homes with small children? All might be the best way to protect children but at what point does it end? Heading toward a police state? What about cell phones? We are all guilty of that one at one time or another. Next time you talk on your cell phone while driving pay attention to what you do. More than likely you will slow down. You may drift out of your lane ever so slightly or become so involved in the conversation that you only for a second, forget where you are. It is like anything else. Common sense should be used in what ever you do. Problem with that is, some of us were born without that ability. Truly. So I have to agree with america. Where will it end?

-- Posted by ladyjane on Sun, Oct 7, 2007, at 4:25 PM

I don't smoke and I don't have a cell phone. I feel left out!

-- Posted by Paul on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 6:56 AM

The ban on smoking at Crane has been in effect longer than Capt Welsh has been around (at least the 8 years I've been there), and it has nothing to do with saving our lungs. It has something to do with the hundreds of ammo magazines scattered around the base that they don't want some moron who throws a butt out the window to blow up.

How nasty is a habit when you don't even want to use the ash tray in your car for its intended purpose and would rather throw the butt out the window, littering, risking a fire (especially in this weather), or even having it go in someone elses car?

-- Posted by corbinsa on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 7:29 AM

Just wait a bit Paul. "The Man" will find something to get you for soon! And Corbinsa, smoking is not a habit like washing your hands or something. It is an addiction that the smoker can not control, like alcoholism or something. I do totally agree that it is nasty though. We have outlawed drinking in cars for others's safety; smoking for the same purpose (children' safety) is a logical next step.

Hey old timers...when radios first were installed in vehicles was there an uproar about the person fidgeting with the dials and posing a safety risk? To your recollection, is the debate about driving while talking on a phone any different? Just curious...

-- Posted by RDK on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 8:57 AM

RDK, I was thinking the same thing. The cell phone ban is about drivers being distracted. Most places that ban hand held phones still allow people to use them if they use their "handsfree" headset. If you're having a conversation, you can still get distracted. You could just as easily get distracted by someone else in your car. How many moms have been distracted by the kids acting up in the backseat? If you're going to start banning things in cars, you may as well get rid of the drive thru's at fast food restaurants. How many of you have tried to eat and drive? Again, just about everyone... Where does it stop?

-- Posted by jb99 on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 9:45 AM

RDK, I realize smoking is an addiction, but that doesn't make it ok for smokers to toss their butts out the window!

america, if your star athlete son asked you not to smoke with him in the car, would you put the cigarette out, or ignore the request? A good friend of mine developed a smokers cough playing pool in bars in college. He never smoked a cigarette in his life.

-- Posted by corbinsa on Tue, Oct 9, 2007, at 6:43 AM

With legislation like this, the "village" that Hillary favors will not be far behind. The rock is big, but if they keep chipping away, it will soon fit under a boot.

-- Posted by hilljak on Tue, Oct 9, 2007, at 3:09 PM


-- Posted by onebyone on Tue, Oct 9, 2007, at 3:25 PM


-- Posted by onebyone on Tue, Oct 9, 2007, at 3:31 PM

goodness gracious onebyone! Do you just get on here to blast people or do you have something significant or thought provoking to add to the topic? Personal attacks are a cop out and childish at best. I believe the topic was smoking in cars with children and cell phones while driving. Do you have something relevant to say about the topic or are you judging the fine people who are making this discussion lively?

-- Posted by RDK on Wed, Oct 10, 2007, at 11:23 AM

"Through the use of cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States." -National Institute on Drug Abuse (Smoking.DrugAbuse.gov)

"The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes an addiction to smoking. Nicotine is an addictive drug (just like heroin and cocaine)..." -American Cancer Society (Cancer.Org)

Not that it was very hard to prove my point about it being an addiction and not a habit, but boy, it sure wore my pointy head out!

-- Posted by RDK on Wed, Oct 10, 2007, at 5:06 PM

I tend to agree with America. I have four kids, two are grown, all are healthy! Which is hard to believe since I smoke in the house and in the car...I also drink and cuss on occasion. I was raised in a similar household with smokers and drinkers...I am pretty healthy and have not required a visit to the doctor in over 6 years and that was for childbirth! I guess if I was really tough I could have foregone those visits as well...:) My point is, I don't like having people telling me what I have to do in every area of MY life and MY families lives. I have a good amount of common sense...I roll the window down in the car, I keep fresh outside air moving in my house, I don't toss cigarette butts while I am driving, and I never hold a child or a baby while smoking...It's something that I do away from them.

Our oldest son is in the military...I can tell you that he has been in far more danger and injured way more since being in the military than he ever was in our home...even with all the smoking going on...

-- Posted by Renee71 on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 4:46 AM

This just struck me...how many people that would be in favor of prohibiting smoking in cars with children also are in favor of abortion? Can you really be in favor of one and not the other? Hmmmm.....

-- Posted by RDK on Fri, Oct 12, 2007, at 10:42 AM

RDK since you are able to hide behind a username it's easy to say stupid things and admit to assaulting you son. secondhand smoke is assault.laker mom said it right so please for your sons sake think about what you are saying and the actions you are taking (against)) your son. If you were headed in to church( we realize you dont but bear with me) and a group of folks are just out front and smoking and you must walk through the smoke........ now what do you call this?

-- Posted by onebyone on Fri, Oct 12, 2007, at 12:13 PM

Interesting you think you know me, 1by. I actually do have a son, but he is an adult and attending college out of state. Your error in thinking you know me is forgiven. I do appreciate you making a post on here that has some logic concerning the topic on hand. And the assault aspect is a good point.

What do you or any others think about my earlier post contrasting believing in a woman's right to chose with Mr. Schneider's column on making it illegal to smoke in a car with minors? Are they different? Can you support abortion on the one hand yet on the other, try to protect children's health?

-- Posted by RDK on Fri, Oct 12, 2007, at 1:07 PM

RDK, your logic is flawed in assuming that all people that are for banning smoking around kids believe that life begins at conception.

Also, saying someone is "for abortion" is a pretty contrived statement. it's not like they think women *should* get abortions, just that they should have the choice.

-- Posted by corbinsa on Fri, Oct 12, 2007, at 1:39 PM

Smoking bans aren't always enforced...and exactly how is Monroe County going to enforce a ban in vehicles? If you are from another state/county/town...how would you know as you are driving thru Monroe County that you are not supposed to be smoking in a vehicle with kids under a certain age? While I agree in theory you should not smoke around young children, I see no way to enforce this rule in a vehicle.

As for NWSC's smoking ban...if you believe people aren't smoking in their cars on base, you should take another look...they are.

-- Posted by Chena on Sun, Oct 14, 2007, at 6:34 AM

I guess Lakermom and others slept through Government class during high school. We do not have a right to breathe clean air. It is a privilege. Please show me on the Bill of Rights were its states your claim.

I am glad I live in a city that has a ban on cell phone use while driving. And our penalty is more severe:$500 fine and 1 point on your driving record. Needless to say, you have a safer feeling when crossing the street and not being crushed by a driver not paying full attention.

-- Posted by outsidelookingin on Mon, Oct 15, 2007, at 8:32 AM

Property rights...

The right to own property. If a child is made ill by the selfishness of an addicted parent, that parent is denying their child property rights.

The kids have the right to go to school and get an education. However, many of these children are absent due to respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. They are losing their right to have an education because of addicted parents. Thus, losing their right to possibly gain a better education, to gain a better job, and to finally own property of their own, including, but not limited to, a high school diploma.

-- Posted by livinlinton on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 10:45 PM

Gimme a break! this rant of smoking in cars with your kids has gone way out there...Now addicted parents are denying their children property rights? and denying them of a lucratrive future? I have got to chime in at least once more, to see if I can think as abstractly as some of these other prople. As I said before, my parents were smokers, and I never missed a day of school...went on to college, got a good job, bought property, and I am providing a good solid life for my children, who also go to school everyday....thus continues the cycle of life.

Maybe we should ban smokers from having children until they swear never to smoke again...or maybe people with physical diseases that science shows will most likely be passed on...or people with no money, poor people, statistically speaking, have less than average chance of ever owning property and thus their kids will follow in that same cirlcle...or maybe society should also pick just one religion...for all people to follow, Parents might make the wrong choice (of course, you won't know you chose the wrong one until the afterlife, but we could find a way to criminalize that as well), don't forget the parents that work TOO much or coddle the kids until they are too old making them completely dependent on society as adults...or allowed them to eat chocolate cake for breakfast...or go trick or treating and eating candy until they burst....ahhh the horror! (oh wait, we've almost wiped out trick or treating...it was too something or other...I am not quite sure what happened there)

How about we put parents in jail for letting their kids play at the park, ride bikes, go swimming, ride in cars with their friends, or go to the mall by themselves? Kids have been injured, killed, or molested doing every one of those things, just a thought. We could keep our kids locked in a closet for their own safety....oh wait, we can't do that either.

People do alot of things that could potentially screw up their kids' lives...it's America, thankfully we are allowed to raise our kids the way we want, or are we?...:)

-- Posted by Renee71 on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 4:35 AM

The ban at Crane was in affect before Capt Welsh. That ban is also to protect the mission because of explosives. By the way it is the Naval Support Activity Crane for the last for years not NSWC. get it right.

-- Posted by Michael77 on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 8:28 AM

NAD Crane (Naval Ammunition Depot)- before the Army split off.

NWSC (Naval Weapons Support Center)

NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center)

The Base has had a lot of different names...just say Crane Navy Base and everyone gets the picture...no reason to get huffy about it...ha ha ha

-- Posted by Chena on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 8:15 PM

I think we all need to use our common sense. It is our responsibility as parents to protect our children. We all know the risks of smoking as well as using cell phones when driving. We are all adults and are responsible for our actions

-- Posted by indianagirl2008 on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 4:30 PM

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