bc-090624-smoking-driver

Leduc, Alta. is prohibiting smoking in vehicles carrying children. ((CBC))

The City of Leduc is making it illegal for people to smoke inside their vehicles if there's a child inside regardless if a window or sunroof is open.

Councillors passed the by-law Monday night. It will take effect July 2, 2011 after an extensive public awareness campaign, said Mayor Greg Krischke.

"I believe that this is one area that is not going to impact adults as much as it will impact children," Krischke said. "So long as our constituents keep in mind  that we’re doing it for the kids, I don’t think it’s going to be much of an issue."

Krischke is calling on the Alberta government to show leadership and protect every child in the province with similar legislation.

"Health is a provincial issue," he said. "Seven provinces already have legislation prohibiting smoking in vehicles where minors are present."

"Alberta is lagging on this issue."

Premier Ed Stelmach said the province will keep an eye on how well the Leduc bylaw works.

"We'll be watching it very carefully. It's like Strathcona [County]. A member of Strathcona took the first move to ban hand-held cell phones. You know we made it a provincial law," he said.

"I'm not saying we're going to do this in this particular case. But we'll certainly want to work with groups to reduce the number of people smoking in Alberta."

The fine for a first offence will be $100, double for any further offences.

Leduc is the first city in Alberta to impose such a ban. The town of Okotoks passed the same type of by-law two years ago.