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VPD fine limo driver for driving with 10 passengers on a Class 1 license

When it comes to the transportation sector, there is no specific number regarding how many people may occupy a vehicle.
Photo: Limousine at night / Getty Images

Vancouver Police say they fined a limousine driver over the weekend for driving with a Class 1 learner's license, which requires a supervisor to be present. 

VPD spokesperson Cst. Tania Visintin tells Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that the Traffic Enforcement Team stopped a limousine with 10 passengers over the weekend. She says the driver had a Class 1 learner's license, which requires a supervisor to be a passenger. There was no supervisor for the driver in this case.

"The Passenger Transportation Board has been [notified] and will follow up with the limo company," writes Visintin. "The driver was issued a ticket for disobeying DL restrictions."

VPD Sgt Mark Christensen said in a tweet that, prior to the pandemic, police were doing safety enforcement on limos and party buses and were "shocked by the condition of some vehicles."

Police started the safety enforcement again on Friday, Sept. 18, which is when they pulled the limousine driver over. Christensen notes that the driver had 10 passengers in the vehicle, which required him to have a supervisor present. He adds, "this industry must do better!"

WorkSafeBC Media Spokesperson Ivy Yuen tells V.I.A. in an email that the agency has not had any incident/potential violation recorded that aligns with the description in this tweet.

"While the nature of this sector can make it difficult to exercise adequate physical distancing, we have recommended protocols that employers in [the] transportation sector should consider in their safety plans to reduce the risk of worker exposure to COVID-19," writes Yuen.

"In terms of enforcement, WorkSafeBC will consider issuing orders for non-compliance, and may issue stop-work orders if there is a high risk of serious illness; penalties may be imposed for flagrant violations."

According to ICBC, a Class 4 (restricted) licence is required to drive taxis and limousines (up to 10 persons including the driver).

A Class 4 (unrestricted) license is required to drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities.

Despite strict guidelines outlining the maximum allowable number of people in many stores, clubs, and restaurants, the rules are decidedly murky about how many people may occupy a vehicle

Some of the companies that V.I.A. reached out to said that they have 30 to 35 person party buses, but that they are reducing the number of passengers to ensure physical distancing. However, in some cases, as many as 25 people can still be on a bus. Further, many companies do not require passengers to wear masks.

For restaurants, WorkSafeBC guidelines clearly state that no more than six persons may occupy a table. When it comes to the transportation sector, there is no specific number. As such, the maximum number of allowable occupants for a given vehicle may vary significantly depending on what the employer feels is appropriate. 

Earlier this year, a Downtown Vancouver bar manager sparked outrage on social media after he tweeted that a massive party bus with over 20 people tried to enter his establishment on a Saturday night. 

And while the manager wrote that the group was "shocked and angry" when they were denied entry, one of the people who rode on the party bus says the group didn't try to go into the bar. In fact, he claims that they didn't even interact with the bar staff.