Address issue of smoking while driving

Address issue of smoking while driving

The proposed changes to the Road Traffic Act ("Motorists give 'green light' but..."; last Thursday) fail to address one other mischief - smoking while driving.

Smoking serves as a great distraction, especially since such drivers are often observed steering their vehicle with only one hand, while the other is extended out of the window.

Smoking while driving could ostensibly be penalised under Section 65 of the Act, given its wide phrasing, which penalises those who drive without due care or reasonable consideration.

But it is important that we single out smoking explicitly as a punishable offence.

Such laws are not new to developed nations, having already been implemented in countries like Mauritius. It is also being discussed in places like Taiwan.

Implementing such a law would be in line with Singapore's efforts to stamp out careless driving and smoking.

Accordingly, a new provision with a wider "catch-all" ambit could be put in place to deter errant motorists from getting distracted while on our busy roads.

Ryan Nicholas Hong

This article was published on Aug 11 in The Straits Times.

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