‘Ludicrous’ Dundee handyman fined for smoking in his own van

Keith McMillan was fined £50 by Dundee City Council officers.
Keith McMillan was fined £50 by Dundee City Council officers.

A handyman fined for smoking as he sat by himself in his own van has branded the on-the-spot penalty “ludicrous”.

Keith McMillan (31) was handed the £50 fine by Dundee City Council officers who told him his vehicle was classed as a workplace.

The father-of-two said: “In my view, it’s not a place of work, it’s a means to get to work. I don’t work in my van.

“I had just got in my van to go home for lunch. When I got in, I lit a cigarette before setting off. They chapped on the window and said they were from the environmental health and asked if I was aware it was illegal to smoke in my van.

“I told them it was my van and I’m the only person in the van and I don’t have any employees. I got told I was still getting a fine.”

Mr McMillan, who started his business K McMillan Property Maintenance Services two years ago, said he was “fuming” at the penalty.

He said: “It looks like an easy way to get revenue off of people. There are lot more important things to be enforcing out there than somebody smoking in their own van.

“I can understand taxi drivers not being able to smoke because people are in and out of their cars all the time. This is my own private property.

“I think the law is out of hand. I can understand not smoking in pubs but being fined in your own vehicle is a bit ludicrous.”

Scottish laws for no-smoking premises cover vehicles which one or more people use for work. Vans and lorries are included in the legislation, which aims to provide healthier working environments.

Mr McMillan said he would have to go to court if he wanted to fight the decision.

“I might just end up having to pay it,” he added.

“I could fully understand if the van was owned by a large company where other people are using it, but it’s not.”

A council spokesman said: “There is an appeal process open for people who have been issued with a smoking prohibition fixed penalty notice.

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