September 4, 2009

Honolulu plugs nose to public odors bill

Honolulu City Council members say a council committee has deferred a measure that would have made it illegal for smelly people to use public transportation.

The Honolulu Advertiser reported Friday the proposed transit passenger code of conduct was tabled by council members with the intent to kill Bill 59-09, which would also have banned offensive-smelling people from city transit facilities.

The bill said individuals would not be allowed to bring onto transit property odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system, whether such odors arise from one's person, clothes, articles, accompanying animal or any other source.

Honolulu Police Maj. William Chur said while the basic intent of the proposed ordinance was sound, he questioned how smell-based infractions would be handled.

We think that is going to be very difficult to enforce, he told the Advertiser. The question of odors is a question that is somewhat subjective.

The bill also addressed other transit concerns such as fare box jumping and the use of electronic music devices on transit vehicles.