Thursday, October 08, 2009

When the regulations (and their enforcers) get a bit silly


"Technically, that would be the workplace and it'd be an enclosed work environment,”-- An Ontario health administrator explaining why an Ontario truck driver was fined for smoking in his own truck...

Smoking at work is putting an Ontario truck driver back 305 dollars, after police pulled him over on Ontario's 401 highway and issued a ticket for his contravention of Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

A regulation passed in 2006 that prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and public areas, such places as bars, restaurants, offices and it would seem truck cabs.

The law was amended in 2008 to ban smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 16.

However, in this case, it would seem that the driver was on his own, in his truck smoking as he drove along Canada's busiest highway, a highway where apparently crime is so unknown that the police have time to pull over truck drivers who have a smoke break while they haul their freight.

While we understand the need to adopt healthier lifestyles and such, this case seems to be a bit overboard as far as interpretation of the law. There was apparently no one other than the driver at risk from the smoke, it was his or her personal choice to smoke so we're not quite sure where the harm is here.

Other than to the apparent losing war on common sense that seems to be taking place more and more these days.

One would think that this is a rather strange interpretation of the current law and should make for a dandy court case, individual rights up against the draconian interpretation of a good intention seemingly going a little off the rails.

We look forward to hearing more details on this case, because as it stands right now there clearly is the need for some re tasking of police duties in Ontario.

Windsor Star-- Trucker busted for smoking in his 'workplace'

CBC-- Smoke-Free Ontario: Should a truck be classified a workplace?
Globe and Mail-- Trucker fined for workplace smoking after lighting up in rig

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