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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

Sooke seeks feedback on new building regulation bylaw

In addition to the online survey, a virtual online meeting takes place Oct. 22

Worklink march in Langford supports Orange Shirt Day

Ahousaht Prayer Song sets the tone

No ‘harmonious solution’ dogs on beaches in Saanich, community-led study finds

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

Langford launches new campaign to support local eateries

Participating eateries will introduce a new dish and a discount

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Reader’s Lens

Reader’s photo of the week

Most Read