Maple Ridge pushes for party bus rules

Alcohol is not allowed on party buses. - Facebook - Seasons Event Group Inc.
Alcohol is not allowed on party buses.
— image credit: Facebook - Seasons Event Group Inc.

Maple Ridge council are calling on MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton to push the province to regulate party buses.

“It’s been an ongoing issue,” said Coun. Cheryl Ashlie Monday, who has been asking for a crackdown since 2008.

If we had a bar behaving this way, allowing under-aged drinking, it wouldn’t be tolerated, she added.

Council’s plea to the MLAs comes a month after a Maple Ridge mom chastised it for failing to push for change.

“They know there have been multiple incidences with youth in our community on these buses,” said Raymond, whose daughter Shannon died on July 26, 2008 after taking two ecstasy pills and drinking alcohol during a birthday party for a friend on a party bus. She was 16 years old.

In February, after meeting with Raymond, Vancouver city urged other cities to press for more rules.

Popular with teens, party buses are akin to a disco on wheels, complete with plush seats, strobe lighting, stripper poles and loud music.

Alcohol is prohibited but passengers often break the rules.

Shannon’s death was the first in a spate of tragedies involving party buses in Metro Vancouver.

Raymond wants safeguards to prevent deaths such as first-aid training for drivers and for companies to have chaperones when underage passengers are on board.

MLAs Bing and Dalton promised to take council’s concerns to Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Attorney General Suzanne Anton.

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