B.C. to require chaperones on party buses with minors
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 1:51PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 17, 2019 6:58PM PDT
The B.C. government is imposing new rules on limousines and party buses in the province, including the requirement that operators have a safety monitor on board whenever there are minors travelling.
B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena made the announcement in Victoria Wednesday, ahead of the industry's busy high school graduation season.
The new rules will apply to all limo and party bus bookings made after April 1.
The regulations require that safety monitors be present and certified in first-aid training, including the administration of Naloxone to combat opiate overdoses.
“Grad season should be a memorable time for teens to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family. Unfortunately, this industry has been largely unregulated for too long," Trevena said.
"That’s why we’re bringing in new rules that will further strengthen the party bus industry and help ensure our kids arrive home safely at the end of the night.”
Maple Ridge teen Shannon Raymond died at a house party in June 2008, after consuming alcohol and ecstasy on a party bus.
Since the 16 year old's death, her family has been asking the province to crack down on the party bus industry, calling for changes to keep teens safe.
“We have fought hard for these regulation changes, but we didn’t do it alone," said Danielle Raymond, sister of Shannon Raymond on Wednesday.
“All we wanted was for people, especially teens, to be safe. Had someone been looking out for Shannon that night, we think she’d still be here. Her death was so senseless and preventable. We carry her loss with us, and we are going to miss her every day for the rest of our lives. We are thankful for these regulations, which will help improve safety for teenagers who travel on a party bus.”
Last fall, the government raised fines on commercial vehicles, including party buses, that don't display valid decals showing they’ve passed a safety inspection.
In addition, party bus and limo operators are now required to obtain consent forms from parents and guardians allowing a minor to travel with the operator.
The Passenger Transportation Amendment Act, passed in fall 2018, includes an increase in the fine for operators who fail to comply with the law from $1,500 to a maximum of $50,000. This regulation will go into force later in 2019.
The ministry reminds the public that it is against the law to consume alcohol and cannabis inside a vehicle. The RCMP and local police will conduct focused enforcement during the graduation season and will continue to ticket people breaking the law.