Written Answers. - Smoking Regulations.

Mary Upton

Question:

223 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Health and Children the action he will take regarding the daily breaches of smoking by-laws on services operated by Dublin Bus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15244/02]

As the Deputy is aware, smoking is prohibited on all public service vehicles owned or operated by Dublin Bus. Under Dublin Bus by-laws, authorised persons, including inspectors, drivers and conductors, have powers to enforce regulations in this area.

I am advised that Dublin Bus currently operates plain clothes monitoring to detect breaches of smoking bye-laws on its services. Dublin Bus has also advised that this operation has resulted in the initiation of legal proceedings against 47 individuals over the last number of months and that 20 people have been summoned to appear before the courts on these charges in July.

I am advised that Dublin Bus proposes to continue with this type of covert monitoring operation. This approach is a very positive one and deserves our full support. It is in everyone's interest that the prohibition on smoking on bus services is observed and enforced to ensure protection of passengers from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke.