|The bench, as seen on Google...|
Just a simple concrete bench, somewhere to park the bum for ten minutes. The good thing: within two metres were two 'No Smoking' signs, which meant I'd have clean air to relax in. But within two minutes, the best-laid plans of mice and men began to unwravel, to wit:
3.30pm - sat down.
3.32pm - a couple stood behind me and lit cigarettes. When the no-smoking area was pointed out to them, they moved begrudgingly away into the nearby carpark.
3.35pm - a woman lit up beside me. When I showed her the sign, she apologised and walked off.
3.39pm - a man leant on the wall behind me and lit up. When asked to move, he got rather snotty, took two paces out onto the footpath and sniped: "Is this good enough?"
3.43pm - another smoking couple arrived: their response to my enquiries was another grumpy departure.
3.45pm - Hmmm, thought I, if I'm feeling such little love, then who - if anyone - enforces these no-smoking areas? Was the answer above? Up the lift to NZ Post's office...but the receptionist could not enlighten me at all. She seemed lacking in any knowledge of who actually owned the building and thus who was administratively in charge. She did know that a no-smoking zone existed: "The zone's been there for quite a while, but we only removed the butt bin a few months ago." I must be a little slow. What's the point of a no-smoking zone, if it has a bin for cigarette butts?
3.55pm - Down the lift, and outside to count the number of 'No Smoking' signs nearby. What did I find? NINE of 'em, not only by the seat but also at strategic points all around the open carpark in front of NZ Post House...where I also found two more smokers puffing away by the cars. The response from one, when I pointed out to her the sign less than a metre away, was: "So? Everyone else does it here!" 8 smokers in 25min in a signed 'No Smoking' area! WTF!!!
|Scene of the crime: the No Smoking carpark is behind |
the trees: the bench is to the right - thanx, Google!
So the question remains: who polices no-smoking zones?
What - if anything - are the penalties for lighting up there?
People with commonsense observe a sign, whether there's a penalty attached or not. Others seem to have a "What are ya gonna do about it?" attitude.
If those who erect these signs do nothing, then the policing seems left to those who're concerned enough to say something. But they have no power to actually do anything, and may even get themselves in trouble.
Surely it's the responsibility of those who erect the signs to police the area. If they fail in this regard, there should be penalties against them, for failing in their civic duties or employer responsibilities.
THAT may make the rest take notice...or take the signs down.