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Sosnowski Bill Lets Police Warn Smokers Driving with Kids

State Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski said the bill is "about speaking up for the children."

State Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski. Courtesy photo.
State Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski. Courtesy photo.
The following is a news release:

The Senate passed legislation (2014-S 2084) today (March 13) authorizing police officers to provide a verbal warning to an individual who is smoking in a vehicle containing a restrained child.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), would allow law enforcement officials to notify the offending driver of the dangers of exposing young children to secondhand smoke. The act does not allow a police officer to stop or search a motor vehicle based solely on the individual’s decision to smoke with a child in the car.

“This bill is really about speaking up for the children who do not have the power to prevent passengers from endangering their health with secondhand smoke,” Senator Sosnowski said. “I congratulate my colleagues in the Senate for supporting this legislation and allowing our law enforcement officials to give parents and others a full understanding of what they are doing when they smoke cigarettes in close quarters with children.”

The Senate passed the legislation in a 35 to 0 vote. According to Global Advisors on Smoke-free Policy (GASP), 17 states in the nation have passed laws to prohibit people from smoking inside vehicles transporting foster children. GASP is a nonprofit organization which works to promote a tobacco-free existence.

Senators Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Cumberland, Pawtucket), Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and Catherine Cool Rumsey (D-Dist. 34, Exeter, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich) cosponsor the bill. It will now be transmitted to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Chris Demers March 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Hey Rhode Island, don't look now But your government is intruding into your lives more and more every day. We all know second hand smoke is dangerous. This is just another tactic to harass everyday people in the nanny state we live in. Vote out worthless reps and senators like this. Stop making stupid laws just because.......
enrico pelatso March 18, 2014 at 10:40 PM
not again
Jeff March 19, 2014 at 07:16 AM
Useless legislation, waste of time. "Allows police to warn..." Give us a break. SOSnowski probably strained her shoulder patting herself on the back. That entitles her to lifetime disability. But then she was never ABLE.
KJ March 19, 2014 at 08:53 PM
35-0....really. Not only do we have an out of touch representative, we have 35 others that agree this is what we sent them to our state house to do. Can we add making sure we don't have the radio to loud, our mirrors are in the correct position, and we pay careful attention to the road because we all know that any of the three thousand lethal pot holes that are just waiting to get us. Thanks joe, Lisa, Jeff, Tim, enrico, for giving me someone to agree with. I'd vote for any of you to represent me!

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