Over 1,000 reports of people not leaving closed car decks on BC Ferries

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Transport Canada is reviewing over 1,000 reports of passengers refusing to leave their vehicles on closed parking decks.

Transport Canada is reviewing more than 1,000 reports from BC Ferries passengers who do not want to leave their vehicles on closed parking decks, as required by regulations.
This requirement for passengers to go upstairs was reinstated at the end of September by Transport Canada, after being lifted in the early months of the pandemic.

The majority of reports of non-compliance date from the first few weeks after the September 30 change, Federal Ministry spokesman Sau Sau Li said in a statement.

Since then, reports of non-compliance have “dramatically decreased” thanks to education and joint Transport Canada-RCMP patrols, she said.

The reports will be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of enforcement action, Li said.

The non-compliance information was gathered by BC Ferries staff and during joint Transport Canada and RCMP patrols, she said.

For decades, passengers were allowed to stay in their vehicles during crossings. That changed in 2017, when Transport Canada decided that passengers could only stay in vehicles on open decks.

Federal rules prohibiting passengers from staying in vehicles on a closed deck have been in place since 2001.

When the pandemic struck in the spring, Transport Canada temporarily relaxed this rule to allow passengers to stay in their vehicles on closed decks until the end of September.

Transport Canada has a range of law enforcement options available, including verbal warnings, written warnings, and fines ranging from $ 600 to $ 12,000.

Ferry travelers don’t need to choose between personal safety and maritime safety, Li said.

“By physically moving away, wearing a mask, and leaving the closed vehicle deck while the ferry is operating, passengers and crew can stay safe.”

BC Ferries requires everyone to wear masks at all terminals, including outside and on board. He seeks to free up more space in his now closed buffets and outside to allow greater physical distancing.

People with special circumstances, such as medical difficulties, should contact BC Ferries before traveling if they have any concerns, Li said.

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