The Langley driver who was smoking a fag with his thirteen year old daughter inside the car got a fine yesterday, under the recently created law in British Columbia that prohibits smoking around minors while inside a vehicle. I have heard a lot of arguments on this “tough on crime” approach that people see as an infringement of their personal space and general rights. However, I think that the spirit of the law is primarily targeting the cost and health effects of the child, and that the vehicle is not the same as the home where various rights are under the Charter of Rights and freedoms.
The weakest argument I have heard is how the government can step inside our personal space and prohibit what it is we can do, or not do, inside our vehicles. The argument that we should have full unquestioned autonomy of our vehicles is a baseless one. The vehicle is not entirely our personal space, and we are required to adhere to standards that are required by law, such as a licence to operate it, which is a very good method of controlling its uses and operation.
Because of this requirement to obtain a licence, this means that in general, laws, rules and policies can be establish to ensure that everyone who is in control of the vehicle does so with the best interests of the public and their personal safety in mind. A licence controls the use of the vehicle, and those who cause harm, or violate the operational requirements of driving, will have their privileges taken away and be asked to pay fines or face suspensions and then need to re-qualify.
Stronger yet, laws are starting to recognize that our actions cause harms to innocent bystanders and therefore those bystanders should be protected from the harms that we inflict upon ourselves. Second-hand cigarette smoke is by far one of the most recognized forms of harms to the public, and over the last decade numerous laws have being enacted to eliminate it from the workplace and public areas. It would only make sense that this push would creep into the private sphere, so prohibiting smoking inside a motor vehicle with children present, while on the roads, seems like the next logical evolution of public health and safety.
For adults, we must ensure that our children must be given every opportunity of protection from these unnecessary harms that we may inflict do to our personal and long-term bad habits. Overall, the health benefits to our children for the future makes perfect sense, even if it means we as adults must give up our bad habits, or at the very least comply with the prohibition of driving while smoking with minors present. I would argue that our children must come first, over and beyond our foolish indulgences because it is them who will have to pay for us as we start to use the health care system to repair the damage we caused on ourselves. Personally, I am in full favour of this law and fully support it.
Fashion blogs or just a heavy dose of female narcissism?
While I was listening to SPARK, a program from CBC Radio One, of which they looked at one of the latest blog trends that allows the author to post what it is that they are wearing and then giving you the opportunity to comment on their daily garb ensembles. This is just weird that someone is asking people to comment on what it is they are wearing from day to day, or that they are even taking the time to photograph themselves and then posting them on-line so that you can give them your opinion. The two examples from Episode 83 of SPARK from June 24: Jessica Schroeder’s What I Wore, and What I Wore Today.
Of course, all of the blogs that are listed on the radio program are by women, and they are, in essence, just fashion blogs. However, there was one exception, the journalist Dan Misener whose web site, called What Dan Wore, who reported the story created his own daily personal fashion blog, and clearly it did not have the same impact. Talk about how stereotypical I am—but that was the lesson and point that he was making.