Party bus industry: Changes support passenger safety

It is against the law to consume alcohol and cannabis inside a vehicle

ADDITIONAL checks on party buses and limousines are improving safety in the industry, the Province announced on Thursday.

This year, passenger transportation enforcement officers conducted more checks than in the past three years combined.

“In April, we brought in stricter measures, including the requirement of safety monitors on board buses with unaccompanied minors,” said Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Today, we are reinforcing the safety improvements made over the last number of months: higher fines for non-compliance, and additional passenger transportation enforcement officers to perform further inspections.”

New regulations, which went into force on September 16, 2019, include amendments that increase the administrative fine the registrar can give licensees who do not comply with the act, from $1,500 to a maximum of $50,000.

Aside from higher administrative fines, the Province has put in place other measures to strengthen the industry. These include:

* additional enforcement officers and increased checks on perimeter-seating buses;

* the requirement of a safety monitor on board, trained in first aid and able to administer naloxone, when unaccompanied minors travel in a party bus or limousine;

* consent forms from parents and guardians if minors are on board a party bus; and

* increased fines for all party buses and commercial vehicles that do not display valid decals showing they have passed a safety inspection.

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 holiday season and will continue to ticket people breaking the law.