Flanders bans smoking with kids in motor cars

The Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege is bringing forward legislation to ban smoking in motor cars when there are minors present in the vehicle.

Federal legislators have hoped to settle this issue for a while now. Various proposals are on the table, but Belgium's regions are unwilling to wait any longer for a breakthrough in the federation. The Walloon region has already legislated and Flanders is now poised to do so.

Walloons smoking in the car with children risk a 50 euro fine. How much the fine will be in Flanders isn't yet clear, but the Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege believes a ban can now count on an all-party consensus north of the linguistic divide: "In Wallonia they settled this under environment powers. It's pure logic that I should take a similar initiative here."

The Flemish ban could be on the statutes by the summer, but would only become law by 2019. Motorists still wanting to smoke with their kids in their car will then have to stick within the confines of the Brussels region if they don't wish to pay a fine!