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

Decor details: Professional rental and design businesses deliver it all

Stop by the Comox Community Centre today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Ballenas Whalers football players honoured after stellar high school seaosn

Chomolok, Rykers earn most valuable player accolades

‘Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park’ proposed in Qualicum Beach

It was first announced in 2018 that St. Andrews Lodge would be turned into a public space

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read