Do you vape behind the wheel? It could cost you £2,500 and your licence…

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Author: | Updated: 22 Feb 2018 12:08

Senior police officers have warned that motorists using electronic cigarettes behind the wheel could be prosecuted and face a driving ban and hefty fine if caught.

Although vaping and driving is not illegal in itself, police have warned the thick clouds of vapour produced by e-cigarettes can temporarily obscure your vision – with potentially fatal consequences.

Vaping and driving isn't illegal itself, but it can still cause distracted driving.

Under these circumstances, drivers whose vision is obscured by vapour could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. The penalty for this can be three to nine points on your licence, a fine of up to £2,500 and, in the most serious cases, disqualification.

The warning comes after new figures revealed that more than three million people in the UK are now officially vapers, many of which are drivers.

Sergeant Carl Knapp with the Sussex Road Policing Unit said: "The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality."

Police have warned that the thick vapour created by e-cigarettes can obscure driver's vision, with potentially fatal consequences.

Read more: New mobile phone laws – what drivers need to know

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: "We believe that drivers should always follow the rules set out by the highway code and must always exercise proper control of their vehicle and avoid any distractions, including vaping."

While drivers can still be charged with careless driving if police believe they aren’t in full control of a vehicle, smoking, vaping and eating is not technically illegal, but things could be changing…

In-car vaping

Since October 2015, it has been illegal in England and Wales to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under the age of 18 in the car, with a £50 fine for motorists who fail to comply.

There have been calls in the past to ban smoking while driving completely, even though this would be a seriously challenging law to enforce. Of the 3,016 motorists surveyed, 56% said that laws should be introduced forbidding smoking and driving.

Are you a vaper? Do you think it smoking and vaping should be completely illegal? Let us know in the comments below…

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