SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert said he sees the need for a bill banning smoking in cars when there are child passengers that has passed the 2013 Legislature.

"I like the concept. I think we ought to do everything we can to protect children," Herbert said. "Those who really don't have a strong voice are children, and sometimes they need a little help from government to make sure we as adults act responsibly."

HB13, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, is now awaiting the governor's action. Herbert said he is reviewing the bill "to make sure there aren't any unintended consequences, but protecting children ought to be the first order."

Similar bills, including one carried by Arent last session, have failed to pass both the House and the Senate. HB13 establishes a $45 fine for what would be a secondary offense, meaning drivers would have to be stopped for another violation before they could be cited.

The governor said he is "sensitive about the overreach of government, stepping into people's lives and legislating everything we do," but the state already mandates seat beats and other protective measures.

Lisa Riley Roche

Twitter: dnewspolitics