By Rabia Iclal Turan
ANKARA (AA) - Under policies meant to discourage the public from puffing up, drivers caught smoking in cars in Turkey may face a fine.
Throughout Turkey, in places such as the metropolis of Istanbul and major cities like Bursa and Manisa, cameras catch drivers taking a drag and report their license plate numbers to waiting police officers.
Drivers caught smoking are stopped and can be fined as much as 153 Turkish liras ($27).
Sniffer dogs are joining in the effort.
Under the policy, 10 drivers in Manisa were recently caught by the police, while eight were fined in Usak, both in Turkey’s Aegean region.
The smoke-free cars policy followed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks to reporters Saturday before leaving for UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
"I sometimes see drivers smoking in cars, and whenever I see them, I warn them, tell them it’s shameful. Now we’re working on something to stop both drivers and backseat passengers from smoking," Erdogan said.
Erdogan has long been credited with his fight against tobacco addiction in Turkey. In July 2009, a comprehensive smoking ban was introduced for all indoor spaces, including restaurants, bars, and cafes, and later was extended to other sites, such as stadiums and courtyards.