Heyman renews call for stronger party bus legislation

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Police-SirenVANCOUVER— In the wake of the tragic death of another party bus passenger in downtown Vancouver this past Saturday night, New Democrat MLA for Vancouver Fairview, George Heyman, is renewing his call for stronger rules on party buses.

“The Minister of Transportation didn’t go far enough last year when he increased licensing requirements for party buses,” said Heyman.

Heyman said that Minister Stone and Premier Clark have been reluctant to take the kind of action that we’ve seen in other jurisdictions, even though B.C. has witnessed more party bus-related incidents and fatalities. “It’s time to admit that relying on self-regulation has failed with tragic results.”

In 2014, Heyman introduced the Safeguarding Young People’s Future Act, which would have improved party bus safety. Provisions in the bill required chaperones for trips involving minors, safety training for operators, that all party bus passengers would receive instructions and sign acknowledgements about legal and safety requirements about not drinking in vehicles, “safe drop-off” provisions to end the practice of dumping sick or distressed passengers, and imposed penalties for advertising of illegal or prohibited activity.

“These things might have made a difference this weekend, and could make a difference in the future.” said Heyman. “I want Minister Stone and Premier Clark to assure British Columbians that they’ll act quickly before another tragedy happens.”