Asian Journal - - BRITISH COLUMBIA -

Van­cou­ver: 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.

Claire Trevena

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