Danielle Raymond and her mother Julie attend announcement by Transportation Minister Todd Stone to increase regulation of party buses before this spring's high school graduation.

Party bus licensing tightened up

Each vehicle must be licensed, operating areas restricted before grad season this spring

Relatives of a teenage girl who died after taking drugs on a “party bus” ride applauded changes made Thursday to tighten licensing regulations for limousine operators.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced an overhaul of limousine licensing that will require each limousine or bus with perimeter seating to go through its own inspection and hold a licence. This replaces a “general authorization” limousine licence that allowed party bus operators to work anywhere in B.C. and add vehicles to their fleet at any time.

Stone said strict licensing and display of a special plate will allow police to know where party buses are operating so they can be checked. The changes are to take effect by May, before high school graduation events that are a mainstay of the party bus business.

Danielle Raymond and her mother Julie attended the announcement, calling it part of the reforms they have sought since Danielle’s sister Shannon died in July 2008 after drinking and then boarding a party bus where she took the street drug ecstasy.

Shannon’s death at age 16 was the first in a series of tragedies with party buses, which have expanded to 4,000 vehicles in B.C. Danielle said her own research showed companies advertising open bars on board.

“Basically their whole business operates around facilitating the minors who use them to get hammered, for lack of a better term,” she said.

In February 2013, 16-year-old Ernest Azoadam died on a party bus in Surrey. In November of that year, a 17-year-old girl from Abbotsford was dumped at a truck stop an assaulted after a trip on a party bus.

NDP transportation critic George Heyman echoed the Raymonds’ suggestion to consider requiring chaperones on party buses to make sure under-age drinking or drug use don’t occur. That’s part of pending legislation in Washington state, where party buses are allowed to serve alcohol to those old enough to drink.

Heyman said the government should also require safe drop-off locations for the buses, which now drop off passengers at bars and then pick them up later to go to another bar.

“One of the roles of the chaperones would be to ensure that no drinking takes place on party buses, period,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Trail police seek to ID more loot recovered during weapons search

Trail RCMP recovered numerous weapons and stolen items after search at Fifth Avenue residence

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

RCMP bike patrol coming to Castlegar

The pair of bicycles will be from a local shop and cost over $6,000 each.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Most Read