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City to look at expanding anti-smoking ordinance

Crystal Smothers asked the Shelbyville Common Council on Wednesday evening if the city could prohibit smoking at school bus stops; her son has asthma. The council’s Ordinance Committee plans to see about amending the city’s smoking regulations.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

A committee of the Shelbyville Common Council is set to review extending the city’s law against smoking in public places to include school bus stops.

Members of the council’s Ordinance Committee are to discuss the matter following a request by Crystal Smothers.

Her son has asthma, Smothers told the council members, and recently while waiting with him for the school bus, someone near the stop was smoking. 

After explaining to the person about her concerns he stepped away, she said, but she questioned why smoking is allowed at all near kids waiting for a school bus.

“School property, we’re not allowed to smoke on,” Smothers said, so shouldn’t bus stops be included?

Councilman Rob Nolley (R-3rd Ward) noted that he passed two school bus stops earlier that day on Wednesday and saw people smoking.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said.

Chapter 99 of the Shelbyville Code of Ordinances, approved in April 2006, outlines the city’s restrictions on smoking in public places. It states:

“Except as provided in this chapter, smoking is prohibited in all public places within the city, including bars, restaurants and similar locations.”

The ordinance then defines what public places are, but school bus stops are not named.

A fine of “no less than $50” may be levied on individual violators, and a fine of “no less than $200” may be imposed on those who own or manage “any premises” regulated by the ordinance where a violation occurs, the code states.

During the City Council’s pre-meeting immediately before its regular session, Councilman Brad Ridgeway (R-4th Ward) said he checked with the schools and was told that they only control bus stop locations up to the street curb.

“Thank you for stepping forward,” Ridgeway said to Smothers afterward during the council’s regular meeting.

Councilman David Phares (R-At Large) also thanked her for speaking up.

Smothers is the wife of Mike Smothers who is the circulation manager for The Shelbyville News, and she delivers newspapers to subscribers.

Nolley said the council will review her request.

“I’m chairman of the Ordinance Committee and we’ll call a meeting,” he said.

No date was set.

The city’s Code of Ordinances is available to read online. Go to the city’s website – www.cityofshelbyvillein.com – and look in the drop menu under the “Community” tab at the top of the homepage.