Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando's new rule for bus riders: no reclining on benches

BROOKSVILLE — As Hernando County prepares to install benches and shelters at about 45 bus stops, the commission on Tuesday approved a new rule to avoid a problem faced by other mass transit systems: reclining riders.

The ordinance, approved unanimously, prohibits anyone from fully reclining on a bench, within a bus shelter or on the surrounding sidewalk during normal bus operation hours.

"It's a problem that going to come up later on,'' assistant county attorney Randall Griffiths told commissioners.

"This is not about homelessness. This is not about sleeping. It's basically about not hogging" benches, he said, and explained that these are for the convenience of the users of THE Bus.

Commissioner Jim Adkins asked: "Who are the snoozer police?''

Griffiths explained that ordinance violations would go to the county's code enforcement office.

Adkins persisted: "You can sleep sitting up?'' He was told that sitting and sleeping were okay.

The ordinance didn't sit well with everyone.

"This is a joke,'' said county resident Joe Lemieux, who said he couldn't imagine the county arresting someone for lying down on a bench.

"This is really a ridiculous law,'' resident Charles McBrearty said.

County attorney Garth Coller said the idea for enacting a law of this nature was to stave off future problems.

"The ordinance points out that fully reclining in or on such specific use areas is dangerous for the person and is unnecessarily disruptive and inconvenient,'' according to the commissioners' backup materials.

"We have to draw the line,'' Griffiths told commissioners. "It's about people impinging on the bus riders.''

"If you want to go sit on a bench,'' Coller added, "go to a park.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando's new rule for bus riders: no reclining on benches 06/10/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 8:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?


    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?
  2. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses


    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  3. Trump says 'we can use peace' during meeting with Pope Francis


    VATICAN CITY — President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

    Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. [Associated Press]
  4. Pinellas construction licensing board looking for ways to fill financial hole

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board's interim leader told the governing board Tuesday that the troubled agency is looking for ways to climb out of its

  5. Adam Putnam calls for special session on medical marijuana


    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam wants state lawmakers to come back to Tallahassee in a special session to finish the work on medical marijuana that they started but didn't finish earlier this month.

    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is a candidate for governor in 2018.