Illinois Rep. Mike Boland has introduced legislation to prohibit smoking in cars when children are passengers, the Associated Press reported March 8.
The measure calls for fines of up to $1,500 and up to a month in jail for drivers caught smoking while driving with passengers ages 8 or younger. Boland said he was moved to introduce the bill when he walked past a smoke-filled car. “I saw some little heads in their little car seats and thought 'Gee, that's really awful,”' he said.
Such bans are already in place in Arkansas and Louisiana, and California, Massachusetts, Arizona, and other states are currently considering similar measures.
Boland said that police and judges would likely not impose the high fines and jail terms in most cases, opting instead to issue warnings or smaller fines. He said age 8 would be an appropriate cutoff since the law already requires children 8 and under to be in car seats, making offenders easier to spot.