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