By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — As part of a new crackdown on antisocial behavior, Dublin Bus plans to bring the first-ever prosecution against a person for illegally lighting up a cigarette on public transport.
The smoker was caught in the act after a plainclothes garda was alerted. If convicted, the culprit will face a maximum £400 fine and/or three months in prison if convicted.
A series of security initiatives and more intensive monitoring was been introduced on Dublin buses after a number of violent incidents and increased problems with vandalism.
Vandalism and violence led to staff refusing to operate late-night services on some high-risk routes.
Damage to some of the city’s 1,100 buses has been so serious that the annual loss is about a £1 million a year, or the equivalent of buying five new double-deckers.
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Vandals have attacked and threatened passengers and drivers, scrawled graffiti, ripped up seat covers, broken lights and windows and kicked in panels.
Though smoking on buses was banned under the 1988 Health Act, some people claimed they thought it was still allowed on the upper deck.