NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 10, 2009

Stinker: HI bill to bar bad smells in buses fails


HONOLULU (AP) — The proposal to bar smelly people from Honolulu buses turned out to be a stinker.

The Honolulu City Council had considered making it illegal to have "odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system." Anyone convicted of being too smelly could have been fined up to $500 and/or given a six-month jail term.

But officials and others wrinkled their noses at the plan during a hearing Thursday.

Lawyers from the city and the American Civil Liberties Union said it was vague and could lead to unconstitutionally subjective judgments. Members of the public pointed out that bad odors could be produced by disease, or be carried from a person's workplace.

The council's transportation committee then shelved it.

But the idea still seems to be wafting around. Councilmen Rod Tam and Nestor Garcia say they may make revisions to their bill and reintroduce it later.