Independent Janet Woollard, MLA for Alfred Cover, is introducing a new law to ban cigarette smoking while driving in a car with children in WA (among various other public-smoking limits).
Before the Bill has been considered by Parliament, the Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has declared that his officers will enforce no such thing.
“The bottom line is that we don’t have the resources to do it, and it would not be a high priority for us and we would probably not even issue the infringement books.
“And I don’t want to take responsibility for the prosecution. At the end of the day police in this state are responsible for crime generally and road safety.
“If you extend that into health you can extend police into all areas it is just not our core function.”
And yet, police enforce the no-cellphones rule. Since when is it safe to light, manipulate, and dispose of a cigarette while driving?
How exactly does underage drinking fit into this Commissioner’s schema? Is a 17-year-old banned from drinking because (s)he poses an immediate safety risk to others that an 18-year-old drinker does not?
And is it really the Police Commissioner’s job – an appointed position, not an elected one – to declare that the Force will refuse to enforce a law that hasn’t even passed yet?