“Our ordinances are outdated,” Cinnaminson Police Officer Michael Czarzasty, the School District Resource Officer, told the committee during their meeting Monday night. “A lot of towns are putting bans on smoking on public property and in parks.”
Czarzasty was referring to a bill the State Assembly recently passed outlawing smoking in public places and parks.
Burlington County passed a smoking ban in county parks last year, and smoking was recently banned in Palmyra Cove Nature Park.
Moorestown Council has been debating whether to even consider an ordinance banning smoking on an upcoming agenda.
Mayor Anthony Minniti wants an action on smoking to be prompted by interest from the community.
“I don’t want to walk the line of government overreach,” Minniti said. “This is something I would want Parks and Recreation to take up, see if there’s an interest there. … I’m comfortable with a group of residents who are behind this prompting it instead of us creating a problem so we can do something about it. I don’t want it to look like we’re creating laws for the sake of creating laws.”
Committeewoman Kathy Fitzpatrick agreed, stating that the township needs to keep in mind the rights of the smoker.
Committeeman Ben Young was concerned with another aspect of the proposal, which would ban adults smoking in cars when a minor is present.
“If someone from out of town is driving through, they don’t know the law,” Young said. Do we need to post signs?”
That part of the proposal he was referring to is not a state law. The state allows individual municipalities to decide if it wants to outlaw smoking in cars with minors present. The fine can be between $50 and $500, and committee had questions about how to enforce the ordinance, including how to determine how old a teenager really is.
Committee agreed there are still questions that need to be answered.
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