NASHVILLE - A bill allowing police to cite adult motorists who are smoking in vehicles with children present narrowly failed on the state Senate floor Wednesday after a fierce debate about health versus personal freedom.
The vote was 16-8. Seventeen "yes" votes were required to pass the bill.
"It's not intended to be punitive to the driver," said Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, a physician and sponsor of the bill. "It's intended to be an education on the hazards of smoking in a closed vehicle."
Briggs said all he wanted to do was decrease the hazard to children.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, said the legislation "was an overreach into the lives of all Tennesseans" and motorists passing through the state, as well.