The British Columbia government is immediately enacting more safety measures on party buses to protect minors, in response to ongoing concerns with the industry.
“These changes are long overdue. Families have been waiting a long time for stricter safety standards that help boost safety every single time a minor is travelling on a party bus,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I’m very pleased to see these new requirements start up in time for the holiday season and New Year’s Eve.”
Starting with new bookings made after Dec. 1, 2018, operators will be required to obtain consent forms from parents and guardians so they know kids and teenagers are safe when getting into a party bus.
These consent forms contain information about the pickup and drop-off times, locations, procedures for the particular excursion, legal and safety requirements of party bus services, and how to report a concern or get more information about passenger safety. Drivers will check the identification of all passengers and, before departing, confirm there is a consent form for each unaccompanied minor.
Operators who add new vehicles to their fleets and newly licensed operators will be required to provide safety monitors when transporting minors, effective Dec 1, 2018. As of April 1, 2019, all party bus operators will be required to provide safety monitors.
This will mean for every 15 passengers who are minors, party bus operators must provide a safety monitor who is at least 25 years of age and has an appropriate background check and training. They will monitor compliance with statutory safety requirements, the conduct of passengers and report unsafe or illegal conduct to the driver who is responsible for the safe and lawful operation of the vehicle.