Are You Risking Your License by Vaping in the Car?

Are You Risking Your License by Vaping in the Car?

Why it might be better to not vape in the car.

5 September 2023 | Hannah Rubery

Are You Risking Your License by Vaping in the Car? (Image)

While smoking while driving has clear, well-established legal boundaries, the same is not true when it comes to vaping in the car. Laws about smoking while behind the wheel are explicit because of the potential fire hazards and the established link between second-hand smoke and health risks to passengers. Vaping, however, occupies a sort of legal grey zone. There's no specific law stating that it's illegal to drive while vaping, but this doesn't mean you're free to vape without any potential legal consequences.

Little known rule could hit vaping drivers with a fine

In the UK, drivers who indulge in vaping while behind the wheel could be slapped with a £100 on-the-spot fine and 3 points on their license if they're caught. The charges stem from the potential distraction and vision obstruction caused by the act of vaping. What might start as a simple puff could lead to severe consequences.

The seriousness of the situation escalates if an accident were to occur as a result of this. In such scenarios, drivers might be faced with a fine of up to £5000, along with 9 points on their license. Therefore, it's crucial to understand that even though vaping in the car is not explicitly illegal, the consequences of doing so can be severe.

What are the regulations for vaping while driving?

Currently, there are no explicit laws stating that it's illegal to drive while vaping. However, existing traffic laws do come into play, and these can indirectly affect vaping drivers. Laws against driving without due care and attention or driving without reasonable consideration for other road users can be applied to vaping motorists whose driving is affected by their use of e-cigarettes.

In essence, if vaping in the car leads to driving behaviour that's dangerous or distracting, it could be grounds for legal penalties, including fines and points on your license. Hence, while there's no direct regulation against vaping while driving, the act of vaping could fall under existing legal prohibitions if it negatively impacts your driving.

Vaping as a Passenger: What Should You Know?

It is legal for passengers to vape in the car, but they must do so considerately. Clouds of vapour can obscure the driver's vision, and this could potentially cause an accident. It's important, therefore, to have a chat about vaping before starting a journey.

A good rule of thumb for vaping passengers is to keep the windows down. This will help dissipate the vape clouds and ensure the driver's visibility is not compromised. Additionally, some people may find the scent or sight of the vapour distracting, so it’s important to consider everyone in the vehicle and ensure their comfort and safety. Remember, the primary goal should always be a safe and distraction-free journey.

How to avoid a fine or worse

To avoid the hefty fines and penalty points, prudence is key. Firstly, it's wise not to vape while driving if it distracts you or obstructs your vision. If you need to vape, consider pulling over in a safe place before doing so.

However, if you really must vape while driving, using vape devices that produce less vapour can be a safer alternative. These devices can significantly reduce the amount of vapour produced, thereby limiting the distraction and obstruction of view usually associated with vaping. The aim is to ensure you have complete control over your vehicle at all times and are not distracted or impaired from driving.

Remember, while there is no specific law prohibiting vaping in the car, it's essential to ensure that your actions don't result in distracted or dangerous driving to stay on the right side of the law.