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Utah Governor Herbert backs 'concept' of ban on smoking in cars

Published March 5, 2013 9:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gov. Gary Herbert said Tuesday that he supports the concept behind a bill that would ban smoking in cars where a child is a passenger, but stopped short of saying he would sign it into law.

HB13, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, would allow a police officer who stops a car for another violation to write a ticket to an adult smoking in a car with a passenger under the age of 16. The bill passed the House and Senate and is headed to the governor's desk.

"I like the concept. I can tell you, I think we ought to do everything we can to protect our children," Herbert said Tuesday.

While he said he is sensitive about "government stepping into everyone's lives," the state has a helmet law for those under age of 18 and requires people to wear seat belts.

"Those who don't really have a strong voice — our children — sometimes need a little help from government to make sure we, as adults, act responsibly," he said.

Until July 1, 2014, the officers would issue a warning to the smoker. After that, it would be a $45 ticket, which would be waived if the individual takes a smoking cessation class.

— Robert Gehrke