A Year Of Smoking Bans To Make Ashtray In Cars Obsolete

The effects of the recent introduction of the new Highway Code are already being felt amongst car buyers. Updated for the first time in eight years, the latest edition states that motorists who smoke at the wheel are to be prosecuted according to the new rules. For the second time this year, a constraint has been imposed on drivers who light up whilst at the wheel, following the smoking ban which came into force on 01st July, prohibiting company car drivers from reaching for a cigarette if they have passengers in the vehicle.

This latest crackdown has been reflected in a recent survey conducted by Motorpoint, the UK’s largest car supermarket, which revealed that a staggering 75% of people surveyed would now purchase a car without an ashtray, suggesting that its days are now numbered. The compartment, traditionally designed for ash and cigarette stubs, has always been a central feature of cars, included as part of the standard specification for decades.

With the ashtray fast becoming a distant memory, and as smoking laws become tougher, Motorpoint have noticed customers increasingly using its counterpart, the cigarette lighter, to power in-car gadgets such as satellite navigation systems and mobile phones chargers, instead of grabbing the device to light-up,

Commenting on the phenomenon, David Shelton, Managing Director of Motorpoint explains: “With the changes in the law which we have seen this year, there is going to be a noticeable change in the way that motorists behave whilst at the wheel, as the push for increased driver safety becomes ever more prevalent. It is only a matter of time before we see a power unit as standard, rather than a lighter, in the thousands of vehicles which we sell each year across the UK.”

23 October 2007 Staff

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