Free-Range Kids

Virginia Cops Fine Driver $100 for Smoking in Car With a Child Present



Puhhha / Dreamstime

A person in Virginia was recently issued a ticket for smoking in the car with a child present.

Fox News reports that the Virginia Police Department fined the smoker $100. But it wasn't enough to simply extract a Benjamin from the puffer. The department went on Twitter to warn others: "Protect your children and keep $100 in your pocket!" Then it used the hashtags #NoSmoking and #WeAreWatching.

First of all, I think that people are still allowed to smoke, so "No Smoking" seems a bit much. But "WeAreWatching" is worse. Watching all the time? Everything a parent does that is sub-optimal—like giving the kid a bag of Fritos before dinner?

My mom smoked all the time in the car and I hated it. I made all the coughing sounds, and put notes in the ashtray, and rolled my window down with Oscar-worthy gasps. But do I wish she'd been hounded by the cops? No. Do I think she would have quit if she could? Yes.

Maybe the cops who are #watching should #watch for something else, like people driving recklessly.