Parents warned of grad party dangers

Average of four B.C. teens die in vehicle incidents each grad season, with another 1,140 injured

Police officer removes open liquor from a vehicle at a roadside check.

The B.C. government is sticking to education to keep grad parties safe this spring, rather than increasing penalties for “party bus” companies.

Officials are more concerned about under-aged drinking at house parties and bush parties than alcohol served in limousines and buses that have become a popular way for young people to go out on the town.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said party bus operators have been reminded that no open liquor is allowed in any vehicle, and inspections will continue with violators risking loss of their licences. Party bus operators have changed their websites and advertising to emphasize that no drinking is allowed on board.

At a graduation safety event in Victoria, RCMP and ICBC representatives stressed that there are grad-related fatalities every spring, and the problem extends to adult-sanctioned parties.

Inspector Ted Emanuels, officer in charge of the B.C. RCMP’s enhanced traffic services, said any event or transportation where alcohol is served to minors is not a safe grad.

“The misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol are the underlying factor in grad events where the police get involved, including physical assault, sexual assault, fights and accidental injuries,” Emanuel said. “We know from experience that bad things happen to good kids in these environments. There are also criminal and civil liabilities that you need to be aware of.”

On average, there are four teens killed in graduation-related vehicle incidents each year in B.C., with another 1,140 injured.

Jill Blacklock, ICBC’s road safety manager, said parents need to discuss transportation plans with teens before every event they go to, giving them more than one option. Programming taxi numbers into their phones and checking transit schedules before they go out are recommended.

After grad is over, the summer ahead is a time of parties that need the same kind of planning, Blacklock said.

Emanuels said one of the most difficult jobs in policing is knocking on somebody’s door in the middle of the night to report a fatality.

“Answering that door is worse,” he said. “Our objective is that your kids wake you up at four in the morning and not us.”

 

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

Just Posted

PQBeat: Qualicum Beach musician, lawyer Phil Dwyer

Juno Award winner talks music legends, ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ and more

Parksville athlete sprints her way to the University of B.C.

Desvaux looks forward to joining T-Birds track and field team

COVID-19: Tourism Vancouver Island aims to help businesses survive

Revenue loss associated with a slow summer will be a big hit

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

COVID-19: Parksville-Qualicum MLA Stilwell calls for more help for tourism industry

‘It’s no question been one of the hardest-hit sectors in this pandemic’

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read