Lighting up at the wheel puts both you and those around you in jeopardy
19 February 2007

Germany could ban smoking in cars after a study found that the habit is a big safety risk to all road users. Speaking to Autocar sources over the weekend, the German government’s commissioner for substance abuse, Sabine Baetzing, argued a ban was urgently needed, even if it would represent an invasion of privacy. "We have got to ask ourselves if traffic safety and health protection should not take precedence,” she said, adding “smoke fumes inside a car can be many times higher than in other enclosed spaces.”The grounds for concern are to do with the fine particulates caused by smoking. The EU mandates that when a level of 50 micrograms per cubic metre is reached on more than 34 days of the year in a city, cars can be banned from that city on air pollution grounds.This survey has revealed that levels of more than 1000 micrograms per cubic metre have been measured in a closed car with one person smoking, causing an obvious health risk to the occupants of the car, and a resultant hazard to other motorists in the vicinity. The German authorities are investigating if it would be possible to ban smoking while driving and how such a law could be enforced.Germany already bans the use of mobile telephones in cars, although the law is not rigorously policed, but it has moved slower than the rest of the European Union to ban smoking in public places. A general smoking ban in public was dismissed by Germany’s ruling coalition government late last year.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Mustang
    First Drive
    24 March 2018
    Sixth-generation Mustang gets a leaner face, revised suspension, improved safety equipment and a more power V8. We see how it fares on southern French roads
  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim