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Statehouse Blogs

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Bill Kenny

A Smoking Ban with a Twist:

What a swell idea. Would certainly make me feel good as a legislator to have passed this.
And as a parent, I applaud the gesture.

But, how does this get enforced?

I'm sure local public safety (= police) are thrilled with another mandate but no muscle or meaningful measurement to help manage it.

Passing a car in the opposite direction, a police officer will have a second or so to determine if a driver is smoking and if any of the passengers are under a certain age?
Gee, does anyone else see potential problems?

If we're handing out grades, I'd give the initiative a "B" for effort but a "C-" for enforceability.

And next legislative session, how about a law prohibiting people 'from saying really mean things about one another.'
Let somebody else worry about enforcement-the important thing is that we feel good.


Although nothing in the legislation says so, I bet officers will only enforce the vehicle smoking ban as a secondary offense. If they pull someone over for a different reason, it's not difficult to add on a ticket for smoking. Otherwise, as you say, this law is largely unenforceable.

Another question is how they will know the weight of the children. Police cars probably won't be outfitted with scales, so if there's any doubt, motorists will likely be off the hook. The same goes for the age requirement too.

Bill Kenny

Perhaps the current legislation could be amended to include a 'if the police officer correctly guesses (within 5 lbs.) your child's weight' provision whereby the fine is reduced to nothing, if the officer is wrong on the weight, or DOUBLED if correct.

And why stop with just this traffic law?

This idea could be the start of a real revenue stream for cash-strapped states and municipalities.

Imagine the cash flow when we multiply the miles over the posted speed limit a motorist was going, divided by the number of exemptions claimed on the state income tax, doubled by the purported IQ of that annoying brother-in-law, times the last two digits on the license plate number? Kaa--Ching!!

Say goodbye to budget deficits!
Happy Days are here again and forever!


Ok....why dont we just ban cigerettes altogether and sovle this whole problem. Where do these people come up with stupid ideas? Pretty soon going home will be like going to jail.

Brenda Clay

I Think we should ban smoking altogether, let the state of Ar. give up the tax dollars, that they receive and the smoking settlement the state received then look at the deficit. lets just become comunist.

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