Even Vegas is now regulating party buses. What will it take to get action here in BC?
With party buses now facing regulation right across the continent — including in Las Vegas, where rolling stripper lounges are under fire — the question is when British Columbia will follow suit.
BC’s party bus sector has a long history of troubling incidents, involving injury and even death, involving teenage passengers. So far, Victoria has refused to take action.
Last week’s decision by Maple Ridge council to echo Vancouver’s call for regulation followed on the heels of meetings between Mayor Ernie Daykin and Julie Raymond, whose daughter Shannon died after a party bus excursion several years ago. Maple Ridge councillor Cheryl Ashlie has also been a strong proponent of regulation.
The State of California recently implemented tough state-wide rules to rein in the sector, but BC has so far refused to take action, despite a long list of incidents.
But what would regulation look like? Daykin likes a proposal I have circulated, after discussion with taxi industry leaders, the Vancouver Police Department and limousine operators.
The simple strategy most likely to be effective is inclusion of BC’s party buses — there are about 120 of them, by some counts — under the authority of the Passenger Transportation Board, like taxis and limousines.
All that is needed now is a decision by Transportation Minister Todd Stone to put the wheels in motion.