B.C. adds tougher rules for party bus operators as grad season nears

The B.C. government has announced new regulations for the party bus industry.

Starting with new bookings made after April 1, operators will now be required to have a safety monitor on board when there are minors travelling in a party bus or limousine.

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The operator will be responsible for ensuring that the safety monitor has the appropriate first-aid training and record check requirements.

Safety monitors must obtain certifications that meet minimum first-aid training requirements, including how to administer Naloxone.

In addition, operators are also required to obtain consent forms from parents and guardians, so they know children and teenagers are safe when getting into a party bus.

The government has also raised fines for all party buses and commercial vehicles that do not display valid decals showing they've passed a safety inspection. Fines have been raised from $81 to $318, among the highest fines in Western Canada.

"Grad season should be a memorable time for teens to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family. Unfortunately, this industry has been largely unregulated for too long," said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a news release. "We never want to see avoidable incidents destroying lives. That's why we're bringing in new rules that will further strengthen the party bus industry and help ensure our kids arrive home safely at the end of the night."

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