LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Smoke trapped in the confined space of a vehicle can be dangerous, especially for children. So last year the Arkansas Legislature made it illegal to smoke in a car with a child 14 or younger, upping the age from a 2006 law. Since the first ban, Pulaski County law enforcement has issued only three citations.
"Most all Arkansans obey the law. And it's not been an issue that police have to pull people over and give them a citation," said Percy Malone, former state senator and bill's sponsor.
Malone calls the measure an investment for future Arkansans.
"It's a question of one being able to spot somebody smoking a cigarette while driving down the road and being able to determine at the same time if they have children in the back if the child is under six and then they changed the law under 14," said Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.
Lt. Minden tells THV 11 many offenders are simply unaware of the law and often deputies will give a warning on the first offense. Malone says the law gives authorities a teaching point.
"Some of these young parents don't really know the terrible effects of their child having second hand smoke. So it's been a smooth transition and I haven't heard any issues or problems with it," said Malone.
Despite the low number of citations, Lt. Minden feels like the law is necessary.
"A lot of times, just having the law on the book is a deterrent for people, most people are relatively law abiding. So if they know the law is out there then they'll actually follow it," said Minden.
Lt. Minden says deputies patrolling in unmarked cars are more likely to see the offense