Pa. puffers may need a pit stop

April 27, 1994|By Knight-Ridder News Service

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- You're on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, heading west with your 14-year-old daughter. It's January, so the windows are rolled up and the heat is on. And you want to light up.

But you can't, because the state has made it a crime.

At least that's what some Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering.

A House subcommittee hearing yesterday produced lively debate on a bill that would outlaw smoking in a motor vehicle when riding with a passenger 15 years old or younger.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Peter J. Daley 2nd, D-Washington, would make it a summary offense -- less than a misdemeanor -- punishable by a $50 fine.

Mr. Daley said his bill was "the first of its kind anywhere in the United States."

But Larry Frankel, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania, noted that a similar bill in Washington state failed to muster the support needed to become law.

Sentiment in the Pennsylvania legislature seemed to be arrayed against Mr. Daley's bill.

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