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UK Vape Blog

Vaping Behind the Wheel: Is it legal to vape and drive in the UK?

by Gary Clark 27 Jul 2023

 

With more and more people making the switch to vaping, questions regarding legality and responsible usage arise. One commonly debated topic is whether vaping while driving in the United Kingdom is illegal. 

 

Recent news reports show experts calling on the Government to introduce new legislation banning drivers from vaping in their cars. This follows concerns about impaired visibility due to thick vape clouds and vapers losing concentration or experiencing dizzy spells while at the wheel.

 

In this blog, we will dive into the laws surrounding vaping and driving in the UK, exploring the potential risks, legal implications, and the responsibility of vapers to ensure a safe driving environment.

UK Laws & Vaping

It's important to note that the UK has not implemented specific legislation that explicitly forbids vaping while driving. Nonetheless, this does not mean vapers are off the hook. Under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, drivers are prohibited from operating a vehicle in such a manner that they do not have proper control. Authorities argue that vaping may potentially obstruct a driver's view or impair their concentration, leading to hazardous situations on the road.

 

Furthermore, The Highway Code, which sets out essential guidelines for all road users, advises against any actions that could distract drivers from their primary responsibility: operating the vehicle safely. 

 

Although the legal framework is not entirely clear-cut, the precedence set by various court cases and police warnings suggests that an individual found vaping while driving could face penalties under existing legislation. Courts have previously held that activities that impede a driver's vision or distract their attention, such as smoking or manipulating a handheld electronic device, could lead to charges of driving without due care and attention or careless driving.

Safe Vaping in a Vehicle

Regardless of the law, vapers should prioritise safety and responsible behaviour while driving, and it is essential to remember that vaping, like any other distracting activity, can compromise driving ability.

 

Vapers should exercise common sense and avoid engaging in activities that may impair their ability to drive safely. Finding a suitable moment to vape, preferably during driving breaks or when the vehicle is stationary, is highly advisable.

 

While the UK lacks explicit legislation regarding vaping while driving, existing laws and guidelines suggest that it could be considered an offense if it impaired vehicle control. To maintain road safety, it is important for vapers to exercise caution, prioritise responsible behaviour, and be aware of potential distractions caused by vaping.

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