New Oahu law to ban lying down on bus stops

New Oahu law to ban lying down on bus stops

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Come June, it will be illegal to lie down at a designated bus stop while city buses are running.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the measure into law Tuesday, saying the ban is about providing a "safe and reliable" place for bus riders.

The ban goes into effect June 14 and will prohibit lying down at bus stops from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day.

"Just as our sidewalks are meant for the movement of pedestrians, our covered bus stops are meant to provide shelter for riders of TheBus and need to be kept free and clear," Caldwell said, in a news release.

Councilman Trevor Ozawa introduced the bill and said it's not aimed at building onto Oahu's controversial "sit-lie" bans, which prohibit sitting or lying down on a sidewalk in specific neighborhoods.

"Our constituents should feel safe and comfortable as they wait for a ride on any public transit system," Ozawa said, in a news release.

But opponents of the measure said it further criminalized homelessness and made the lives of those on the streets more difficult.

"Although these measures are meant to 'compassionately' disrupt the lives of the homeless, they have accomplished little other than to shuffle people around as the homeless too often have nowhere else to go," said ACLU legal Director Mateo Caballero, in testimony on the proposal.

The city said someone can't be cited and fined $50 for violating the new law without first being issued a warning.

The ban also doesn't apply to kids under 6.

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