No doubts – we will hammer drivers who smoke in taxis and work vans

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WE are winning the war on stub-born drivers who refuse to give up smoking in public service vehicles.

That is the message from East Dunbartonshire Council, which has been clamping down on people who have a fly puff while driving council vehicles, taxis and works vans.

During enforcement phases locally, a total of 341 public service vehicles have been stopped, with 23 fines issued and 48 warnings.

The council has been stubbing out smoking in response to complaints from members of the public and as part of the Scottish Government campaign for ‘Clean Air Scotland’.

Anyone caught having a sly puff faces a £50 fine (£30 if paid in 14 days).

In addition, any public vehicle not displaying a no-smoking sign can see its operator hit with a £200 fine (£150 if paid in a fortnight).

The law applies to all business vehicles – including light and heavy goods vehicles, and all public transport such as taxis, buses, trains and ferries. It does not apply to private vehicles.

A campaign kicked off in East Dunbartonshire last October.

All taxi and bus companies were sent a letter reminding them of their legal obligations in relation to smoking in vehicles and the requirement to display no-smoking signs.

The council’s fleet of drivers were also reminded of the law and the policy of no smoking within council vehicles.

A spokesperson said: “The campaign was well received by all companies involved and no complaints were received.

“There were no appeals in relation to the fixed penalties notices issued.”

The council’s licensing standards department led the campaign, in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership and environmental wardens.

Councillor Ashay Ghai, depute leader of the council and convener of housing and community services, said: “This campaign has been really successful in responding to customer complaints by cracking down on smoking in public service vehicles and protecting public health.

“It has also been an opportunity for the council and its partners to promote to drivers the free stop-smoking services available in East Dunbartonshire.

“If anyone would like any information on the services available they can contact Cathy Williamson on 0141 355 2327.”

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