After a public hearing Tuesday, October 19th the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a ban on smoking in county-owned bus shelters. Violators will be fined up to $25 under the ban, which takes effect December 1, 2010.
Fairfax County, Virginia The county will post no-smoking signs in its 214 bus shelters. Each sign costs $2. Fairfax police will be responsible for enforcing the ban.
The Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act requires state agencies and localities to consider reasonable no-smoking areas in any building they own or lease. The ban comes after the state's prohibition on smoking in restaurants, and the legislation repeals a section of the county code that requires restaurants to designate a percentage of their seating as no-smoking areas.
Supervisors sympathized with nonsmokers, who sometimes have to share the confined spaces with people who pass the time by smoking. "I had the uncomfortable situation of sitting in the bus shelter in the rain . . . covered in cigarette smoke," said Supervisor Jeff C. McKay (D-Lee), who rides the REX bus.
The ban does not require smokers to stand a minimum distance away from a bus shelter. "You could have somebody standing outside that line and have as much smoke coming into the shelter as if you were in the shelter," Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) said. That is because Fairfax has to work within state law, officials said. "Its not perfect, but it's a major step forward," McKay said.
Reference: Fairfax County bans smoking in bus shelters by Kafia A. Hosh, The Washington Post, 10/19/2010.
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