B.C. continues crackdown on party buses
VICTORIA – With the holidays fast approaching, the B.C. government is continuing to ramp up its safety standards for the party bus industry.
In addition to the stricter measures that were put forth in April, which included mandatory chaperones for buses with minors and consent forms from parents and guardians, the province has raised the cost of non-compliance fines and increased the number of enforcement officers.
In April 2019, the B.C. government introduced new regulations for party buses, which called for chaperones who are certified in first-aid training and administration of naloxone kits to be present on party buses with minors and increased fines for vehicles which fail to display valid decals that show they've passed safety inspections.
The crackdown came after British Columbians argued that the industry had little to no oversight.
A family from Maple Ridge lobbied for the changes after their 16-year-old daughter, Shannon Raymond, died after consuming alcohol and ecstasy on a party bus.
"All we wanted was for people, especially teens, to be safe," said the family in a news release back in April. "Had someone been looking out for Shannon that night, we think she’d still be here."
Now, starting Dec. 5, the province says it has increased fines and the number of enforcement officers who are inspecting party buses. Since the start of this year, more inspections have been conducted by officers in 2019 than all of the past three years combined.
The B.C. government is reminding people that it is illegal to consume alcohol or cannabis inside any vehicle, including party buses.
"The RCMP and local police will conduct focused enforcement during the holiday season and will continue to ticket people breaking the law," said the province.