We’ve heard about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke more and more over the years.
And one Indiana senator feels like it’s especially disheartening when children are the ones falling victim.
Senator Jim Merritt authored a bill recently that would crack down on smokers inside of cars with children present.
“I witness it and thus when I notice it, and i believe that its a miscarriage of justice, I tend to get my pen together and start writing legislation,” Senator Jim Merritt said.
If you take a look at the legislation Senator Merritt of District 31 has written over the span of nearly 30 years, you’ll see protecting kids is a big focus of his. Senate Bill 34, also authored by Senator Eddie Melton of District 3, would impose a Class B infraction on drivers smoking in a car with kids under the age of 6. Something Merritt witnessed himself.
“We know that second hand smoke is a killer and I wanted to follow through on it, it’s just I felt really, really bad for those kids,” he said.
The push to curtail smoking is somethign the American people are growing used to. Indiana State University student Logan Troesch thinks Senate Bill 34 is a good idea.
“Secondhand smoke is so bad, especially when you’re younger so I think that would be a good bill to pass,” Troesch said.
If the bill passes into law, the first offense would be a 1 thousand dollar fine, if a person commits the same offense 3 times over a year, they could pay up to 10 thousand dollars for a Class A infraction.
Though Senator Merritt knows this would be difficult to enforce.
“The governments of it is difficult a lot like a seatbelt law, a lot like going a couple miles over the speed limit, texting and driving, I know it’s difficult to enforce.”
However, he feels it should be a part of Indiana public policy.
Merritt says this bill will be heard by the committee before February 27th and closer to that time, we’ll see where the bill goes.