You could face a hefty fine and further punishment for ‘driving without due care and attention’
A warning is being sent out to drivers who use an e-cigarette whilst behind the wheel.
Police officers in the UK are warning drivers about the dangers of vaping whilst driving and the punishments that could be handed out to them if caught.
Whilst it’s not actually illegal to smoke an e-cigarette whilst driving, the act has been classed as distracting and could see motorists being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
The vape pens themselves can create massive plumes of smoke which could fill up the vehicle and stop the driver from being able to see properly, even resulting in momentary blindness which could increase the risk of an accident.
The punishments are quite severe for driving without due care and attention – ranging from a fine of up to £2,500, three to nine points on your licence and possibly a disqualification from driving in some cases.
Advice from police officers to drivers who choose to vape whilst behind the wheel is to open the windows and blow the vapour straight outside, making sure that before doing so you are in full control of your vehicle.
“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,” said Sergeant Carl Knapp of the Sussex Road Policing Unit.
Fines or other punishments can be handed out to drivers by police officers at their own discretion.
According to recently released figures, around three million people use e-cigarettes in the UK and a large proportion do so whilst driving.
“Any person who is distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping or eating,” said Sergeant John Davis of Surrey Police.
Vaping according to some does pose the same kind of dangers that sun glare has on a driver.
“Vaping while driving increases your risk of crashing, causing visual disruption and physical and mental distraction,” said a spokeswoman for the road safety charity Brake.
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