Road safety officers are calling on the government to ban smoking behind the wheel to cut the number of accidents.
Simon Ettinghausen, of the Local Authority Road Safety Officers' Association, said smoking was a dangerous distraction.
Mr Ettinghausen said: "Anything you do in the car is a distraction, whether it's eating, drinking, using a mobile phone or smoking. But smoking in particular can be very dangerous."
"If you drop a lit cigarette, your concentration on driving will immediately vanish."
Is it really? Notsaussure points out that some evidence would be nice.
Well, quite possibly so, and I’m sure he can provide — though they’re nowhere mentioned in the BBC report — figures about the number of accidents a year he thinks are caused by people losing their concentration because they’ve dropped a cigarette, along with figures for similar mishaps caused by drivers becoming distracted because their children are having a fight in the back, or a wasp has flown in to the car — happened to my late mother once, in her younger days, on the M1 and the damn thing stung her; ban driving with open windows immediately — or any number of such contingencies. Why on earth, though, start going on about banning it rather than, as would be perfectly reasonable, just reminding drivers it’s probably a better idea if they refrain from smoking while they’re driving? Indeed, such a statement might even include a reminder about the perfectly good law we’ve already got about driving without due care and attention.
Well, Simon, shall I tell you what I find the single, most distracting thing is when I'm driving?
Yes, that's right; the only times that I have come close to having an accident in the last decade or so is because I am constantly watching the bloody speedometer to ensure that I am not going to get flashed by one of the police's fucking revenue-raisers.
And almost everyone I've ever spoken to agrees with me; if you are looking at your speedo, then you aren't looking at the road. And these things aren't in a few spots anymore, they're fucking everywhere. Thus one is constantly looking at one's speedo and that ten seconds that you spend doing so can mean the difference between hitting something and not. And that something is usually some stupid pedestrian who wasn't checking before they stepped out into the road. Seriously, I'm willing to bet that they are a far bigger contributor to road accidents than smoking in cars.
So, I say that we should ban these dangerous speed cameras right now.