Driving While Vaping? You Could Be Prosecuted!
Large clouds of vapor which obscure driver’s views of the road, could lead to some serious penalties in the United Kingdom!
Senior police officers in the United Kingdom have put drivers on notice. If you’re using an e-cigarette or vaporizer which obscures your vision with large clouds of vapor, then you could face prosecution, penalties, and even the loss of your license. While vaping or using an e-cigarette in the United Kingdom isn’t an illegal act, they have stated that it is up to the police officers ‘discretion’ whether your vaping could be deemed a dangerous or distracting act.
Websites such as UsedVape.com, have for a long time supported vaping as a healthier and more affordable option than smoking traditional cigarettes. Understandably, many vapers are upset about the latest announcement, believing that vapers are being unfairly targeted by police.
The chilling phrase, 'up to the discretion of police officers.' Roz Adams 22 Feb 2018.
If the police deem that you have been distracted by the use of your vaporizer or that your vision was obstructed by the vapor produced, you could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. The penalty for driving in the United Kingdom without due care and attention has a fine of up to £2,500, license disqualification, and a loss of between three and nine demerit points from your license.
Police officers believe that because of the large amounts of vapor produced by some vaporizers and e-cigarettes, that drivers could become ‘blinded,’ leading to serious crashes and even more fatalities on the roads. To check out an article about vaping, check out Top Tips for Vaping While You Drive.
This latest announcement by the police comes after latest figures reveal that there are now over three million people vaping or using e-cigarettes across the United Kingdom. Most vapers vape while they drive, but the vapor produced by the majority of e-cigarettes or vaporizers is no denser or obstructs your vision no more than the smoke produced by traditional cigarettes or cigars.
Sergeant Carl Knapp with the Sussex Road Policing Unit said to Telegraph Reporters: “The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction, and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality. I strongly advise people to pay 100 percent attention to the roads when driving as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences. There are no laws prohibiting vaping. However, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times. If you are going to vape, I advise that you open your windows and blow the vapor directly out, just ensure that you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.”
Police have advised that isn’t just vaping or e-cigarettes which they are focusing on in the latest police operation. Driving while distracted is an increasing problem across the United Kingdom, with smoking, vaping, eating, and mobile phone use all playing a major role in serious crashes.
If you love vaping and spend a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of a vehicle, then there are some easy tips and solutions to ensuring that you’re not distracted while driving or your vision doesn’t become obscured.
- Open the vehicle's windows, either partially or fully while your vaping.
- Find somewhere easy and convenient to store your vaporizer inside your vehicle.
- Don’t refill your vaporizer with e-liquid or e-juice while you drive
- Leave your cloud chasing setup for when you’re not driving and grab a smaller e-cigarette or vaporizer for when you’re driving in your vehicle.
As vapers, it’s important that we stay informed about the issues facing vaping and e-cigarette use in our own countries and around the world. One way that you can make sure that your voice is heard, and you stay up-to-date with vaping news is by joining a vaping advocacy group. There are several vaping advocacy groups across the United Kingdom. Below are some popular vaping advocacy and vaping support groups in the United Kingdom: