Party bus changes in Chilliwack an attempt to be proactive: Lum

City staff was asked to amend the Chauffeurs' Permit bylaw to cover all types of passenger-directed vehicles.

Chilliwack council is acting in the name of public safety when it comes to regulating party bus and limo operators, which are not covered under the current bylaws.

Coun. Jason Lum, chair of the public safety committee, said the idea that arose first in July, was to tighten up the affected city bylaw so that it will now cover vehicles transporting more than 10 passengers.

“It’s really a question of public safety,” said Jason Lum.

The province announced plans to tighten up the licensing framework that operators are regulated under last spring. It came on the heels of reports of underage bus riders suffering fatal consequences after taking drugs and alcohol while on, or after riding a party bus, which are sometimes designed like nightclubs.

In 2012 a brawl broke out between youths on a party bus and some motorists.

The matter should come back to council at the next meeting, after staff was asked to amend the Chauffeurs’ Permit bylaw to cover all types of passenger-directed vehicles.

“We found that party buses and sim services were  not falling under that particular piece of legislation,” Lum said.

“I’m sure we have great operators out there. This is more about being proactive rather than reactive.”

“We want people to still have options.”