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BC Ferries to ban smoking and staying in your car during sailings

BC Ferries has announced that they will forbid passengers from remaining in cars on closed decks during sailings beginning in October.

The company will also ban smoking on all vessels and at all terminals in January 2018.

In a release, BC Ferries says the smoking ban came from provincial regulations that increased no-smoking buffer zones from three metres to six metres around any "doorway, intake or open window" to a public space or workplace.

They say buffer zones of that size are impossible to maintain on vessels and decided to extend the no-smoking policy to terminals as well.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Ferries.

"This new policy supports the health and wellness of our customers and employees, as it helps control their exposure to secondhand smoke," said BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins in a statement.

"We continue to focus on improving our customers' experience, and providing the safest working environment for our crews."

As of Oct. 11th, customers who drive onto a lower contained car deck will have to leave while the vessel is sailing.

The regulations relate to safety, and the safety of our passengers and employees is a core value for BC Ferries,” Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ vice president of fleet operations, said in a statement.

“Last year we carried 21 million passengers safely to their destinations by keeping safety top-of-mind in every operational decision we made.”

BC Ferries said it will initially adopt a “soft approach” to enforcement by informing customers about the new policy and asking them to comply. The company said customers with special circumstances may make a request at the ticket booth to be placed on the upper vehicle deck and employees will do their best to accommodate them.

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