Editorial: Ban the party bus

The tragic death of a 23-year-old Langley woman who fell out the side door of a party bus last weekend has renewed calls for more regulation of the industry.

We would suggest that instead of tighter restrictions, the buses be banned outright.

The conversation about party bus safety — particularly as it relates to underage drinking — has been going on for years. It resurfaces every time there is an incident wherein someone is injured or killed.

There were calls for tighter restrictions in 2010, after two teenaged girls fell out of a moving party bus in Langley when the side door opened at the busy intersection of Highway 10 and Fraser Highway. One girl was uninjured, the other was knocked unconscious.

Police found alcohol on the bus.

And again, questions arose in March 2012, after a drunken brawl broke out in the parking lot of a Brookswood stripmall as teens from two separate party buses pelted one another with beer bottles and pepper spray.

The industry clearly isn’t policing itself as it must do if these types of incidents are to be avoided.

What reason do the vehicles have for existing other than to serve as a place where teens who are too young to gain admittance to licensed night clubs can party?

It’s right there in the name, after all.

Bus company reps have insisted they screen passengers for drugs or alcohol. Clearly, that hasn’t been an effective deterrent.

We’re not picking on any company in particular, but recently a member of our newsroom rode in a party bus. There was no screening, nor ID checks, she said. There was, however, plenty of open alcohol consumption. Everyone in her party was of age, but add a moving vehicle into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. For some reason, passengers are permitted to stand up and dance while the vehicle is in motion.

So why, then, would the door of a moving vehicle be open? Or, more likely, be able to fly open mid-ride?

There are simply too many questions and too few acceptable answers.

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