Bus stops along Xinyi Road in Taipei are to be nonsmoking areas from next month to try to reduce the second-hand smoke inhaled by passengers, the Taipei City Government said yesterday.
The city’s Department of Health said yesterday that it has listed the 27 pick-up and get-off points along Xinyi Road as nonsmoking areas in accordance with the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法). People who smoke in the areas are to face a fine of between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000.
Department commissioner Lin Chi-hung (林奇宏) said the law prohibited smoking in most indoor public locations, however, outdoor venues such as sidewalks and bus stops have not been listed as nonsmoking areas.
The department included bus stops in the list of nonsmoking areas because it has received a growing number of complaints from passengers waiting for buses.
“We have joined with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation to promote the nonsmoking movement at bus stops because we want to create a smoke-free environment in Taipei,” Lin said yesterday during a promotion of the new measure at the Daan Park bus stop.
He said the nonsmoking areas will be implemented first at bus stops along Xinyi Road because it is one of the busiest roads in the city.
The department’s statistics show a total of 33 outdoor areas in Taipei are designated nonsmoking areas, including the recent addition of the City Hall transfer station, the Taipei Mortuary Services Office’s First and Second Funeral Parlors, the Taipei Expo Park and outdoor areas outside the Shihlin Official Residence’s main building.
Twenty sidewalks have also been designated as nonsmoking areas.
Department statistics also showed that it has issued 92 fines for smoking violations to date, generating NT$189,000 in revenue last year.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan