Law needed to stop people from smoking while they are driving

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 4:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 11:29pm

Since 2000, motorists in Hong Kong have been prohibited from using hand-held mobile phones or holding phones between the head and shoulder, while their vehicles are in motion.

However, another more common phenomenon I have noticed these days while going out with my husband, is that an increasing number of motorists are driving while smoking. They tend to do this with one hand on the steering wheel, and the other hand holding the cigarette facing the open window.

I saw this being done by the driver of an empty taxi last Sunday while my husband and I were in another taxi.

I think this is really dangerous and inconsiderate. Imagine if they did not put out the cigarette properly, and it dropped onto the floor. There could be a fire and the consequences of a blaze in a moving vehicle on a busy road could be dire.

A taxi driver who has been smoking in his vehicle, even when it is vacant, will force the next passenger to have to put up with the smell of stale smoke and many people now find this offensive.

Drivers definitely need to have both hands on the steering wheel so that they can respond promptly to unforeseen traffic situations. They will not be able to deal with such a situation with only one hand on the wheel.

Some of the drivers smoke with their front window closed. They are trying to be considerate to other drivers so the smoke does not affect them.

However, this also means that if a fire breaks out in the front seat it will be more difficult for them to make their escape quickly.

I urge the government to table legislation at Legco banning people from smoking while they are driving.

Eunice Li Dan-yue, Causeway Bay