I cringe when it comes to the government telling parents how to raise their kids. I believe parents need the freedom to parent according to their beliefs and to individually meet each child's needs and personalities. But repeatedly, idiotic parents who act recklessly make a good case for why the government must get involved.
In New York a bill was recently introduced that would have banned parents from smoking in their car if children under the age of 14 are passengers. Offenders would have been fined $100.
Now no parent should NEED a law to tell them not to pollute the air their children are breathing, to not subject their children to known carcinogens and dangers in secondhand smoke -- even if the windows are down. Yet they do repeatedly as you can witness daily in pretty much any city in which you drive.
So here I am once again balking against my libertarian leanings and mourning the loss of a law to try and make parents do what they should. My only real argument against the bill would have been the age of the children should be increased to at least 16.
One county in New York has already passed a similar ban, and other states including Maine, Louisiana, Arkansas, and California have imposed a similar one. But opponents in New York reportedly struck this one down, which is too bad.
It's hard to argue against individual freedoms, except when it comes to those freedoms infringing on another's well being. And we know secondhand smoke infringes on the well being of children, especially in a small place like a car. If we can ban it in restaurants to protect the health of patrons, we should be able to protect innocent children. We shouldn't have to, but unfortunately, we do.
Do you think parents should be banned from smoking in their cars if children are present?
Image via joka2000/Flickr