WATCH (above): Ahead of grad season, a fresh warning about so-called party buses. Catherine Urquhart reports.
As June approaches, so does grad season and the B.C. government is taking the opportunity to urge students to stay safe around this celebratory time, especially when it comes to choosing “party buses” as a mode of transportation to their events.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone reminded people Thursday that drinking alcohol in any kind of moving vehicle is illegal and police will be stepping up enforcement.
“Ultimately we want young people to be safe during their grad celebrations,” Stone says. “That will only happen if everyone involved students, parents, chaperones, charter companies all make responsible, informed decisions on grad night.
The charter bus industry has faced heavy scrutiny in recent years after a number of serious incidents involving teenagers with liquor or drugs on board. Several families and a Vancouver city councillor are still calling on the government to tighten regulations.
BC Transit just rolled out their 2014 GradPass program, which gives 19,500 students in 30 communities across the province two days of unlimited transit travel during the month of June.
Vancouver police plan to check hundreds of limousines and party buses to make sure they are following the rules.
Last weekend, police checked 55 vehicles and handed out 23 tickets. One limousine driver was ticketed for operating without a driver’s licence and another driver was caught operating under the influece of drugs, police said.