Warning issued to vapers behind the wheel
Though it isn’t strictly illegal to vape whilst driving, new warnings have been issued by the police revealing that hefty punishments may be given for driving without due care and attention.
Whilst the idea of cruising along with vape in hand may be just the ticket for the regular commute home or a Sunday drive, the recent messaging from the police is very clear and is worth taking note of - vaping behind the wheel is deemed as a distraction and motorists could face prosecution in certain circumstances. The severity of which currently ranges from a fine of up to £2,500, three to nine penalty points on your licence and even a total disqualification from driving.
The present stance from the police is that vape pens have the capacity to create large plumes of smoke, which could potentially cloud the vision of the driver and cause momentary blindness, increasing the risk of a car crash.
And with an estimated three million people nationwide using e-cigarettes, that’s a highly concerning statistic.
Sergeant Carl Knapp of the Sussex Road Policing Unit has elaborated: “The smoke caused by vapes is a distraction and the consequences of this can be dire. All it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash, and even worse, a fatality.”
He added: “I strongly advise people to pay 100 per cent attention to the roads when driving, as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences. 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.”
In essence, vaping whilst driving is being treated much the same as activities such as smoking, eating or drinking behind the wheel, which can all prove to be a distraction and are equally viewed as an offence. And whilst no new laws are on the horizon directly relating to driving and vaping, police have enforced the point that they will use the power that they already possess to ensure that everyone continues to drive in line with the law.
The key takeaway, as bolstered by the Department of Transport and supported by the Red Box Liquids group, is that drivers should always follow the rules set out by the highway code and must exercise proper control of their vehicle and avoid any distractions, including vaping.
Road safety charity, Brake, has gone as far as to urge drivers not to be tempted to vape at all whilst operating a vehicle, reiterating that any type of activity that takes your eyes off the road increases your chances of causing a crash.
We believe that health and safety in this industry are paramount, and that extends far beyond the realms of just the products themselves.
Vaping is to be enjoyed. Please enjoy it responsibly and take care when out on the roads to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of those around you.