Trucker fined for smoking in his truck; Did I call it or what?
October 8, 2009
October 8, 2009
Well, you knew it had to happen eventually. According to reports by the Canadian Press, an Ontario trucker has been fined for smoking in his rig. Apparently police pulled over the trucker and ticketed him $305 for smoking in the workplace, a violation of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. If the driver wasn’t fuming before, I bet he was after being handed the ticket.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act was passed in 2006, and I blogged about it at the time. In what turned out to be somewhat prophetic, I wrote the following in my blog: ‘While the province of Ontario has reported in the media that its anti-smoking law should supercede any federal mandates, the Ontario Trucking Association has argued that the federal rules (which exempt vehicles) should be enforced. I can imagine how we’ll find out the final answer. You’ll be driving along the 401, minding your own business when one of Ontario’s finest will flash his lights and pull you over. Panic will strike as you wonder if your load has somehow come loose? But nope, the officer will instead hand you a hefty ticket for driving along with the window down with a cigarette butt dangling from your fingers. Just what this industry needs – more regulation!’
Has it really gotten to this? Has Ontario’s speed limiter law been so effective at slowing down the big rigs that the police are now spending their time on the roads gazing up into truck cabs in pursuit of smokers so they can get their trucker-ticketing fix?
I hope the offending trucker fights this charge and that the courts blow it off – bad pun intended. I’m not a smoker and I can’t stand the smell of the stuff – but what you do in the cab of your truck should be up to you, if you’re not endangering anyone else that is.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies