(Wikimedia Commons/Kam Abbott)

Major changes coming to BC Ferries

Passengers no longer allowed to remain on lower vehicle deck and complete smoking ban coming in 2018.

There are some major changes coming to BC Ferries.

Passengers will no longer be allowed to remain on the lower vehicle decks starting Oct. 11, and all vessels will be completely smoke free in January 2018.

Announced today, BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins says they decided to make all vessels smoke-free to “support the health and wellness of our customers and employees, as it helps control their exposure to second-hand smoke.”

BC Ferries had announced they were considering implementing a new smoking policy back in December of 2016, and had expected to make an announcement this year.

RELATED: BC Ferries policy changes expected in 2017

BC Ferries made the decision to provide a smoke-free environment for the travelling public and our employees on board our ships and at our terminals,” Collins continued, adding this is being done to provide people with advance notice of the policy change — which officially comes into effect January 22, 2018.

Visit the gift shop

The new safety practices will align with Transport Canada regulations that prohibit passengers from remaining in their vehicle on any closed deck when a vessel is underway.

“The regulations relate to safety, and the safety of our passengers and employees is a core value for BC Ferries,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice President of Fleet Operations.

Customers will continue to be permitted to stay in vehicles on the upper (opened) car decks.

This new policy applies to the lower vehicle decks on the following vessels that generally operate on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay – Langdale, Powell River – Comox, Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands, Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii routes.

  • Spirit of British Columbia
  • Spirit of Vancouver Island
  • Coastal Renaissance
  • Coastal Inspiration
  • Coastal Celebration
  • Queen of Alberni
  • Queen of Coquitlam
  • Queen of Cowichan
  • Queen of New Westminster
  • Queen of Oak Bay
  • Queen of Surrey
  • Queen of Nanaimo
  • Salish Orca
  • Salish Eagle
  • Salish Raven
  • Northern Expedition
  • Northern Adventure
  • New vessel servicing Port Hardy – Bella Coola

Smoke free sailings

The smoke-free policy will apply to tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarettes, and is expected to reduce the number of customer complaints about smoking on BC Ferries’ vessels. Signs will go up on board and on shore as a reminder of the change in policy.

BC Ferries reminded passengers this summer that they would be looking out for impaired drivers and walk-ons, who risk being reported to police.

RELATED: Passengers should avoid alcohol and drugs

In a media release, BC Ferries noted that the province of B.C. amended smoking regulations that increased buffer zones around any doorway, intake or open window at any public space or workplace, to six meters. That means that all vessels will need to become smoke-free environments, due to physical space constraints.

“Smoking tobacco continues to be one of the single largest threats to the health of British Columbians and our visitors,” stated Island Health’s Dr. Dee Hoyano, Medical Health Officer in the release. “By going smoke-free in its terminals and on its vessels, BC Ferries is supporting healthier, cleaner and safer environments for everyone.”

BC Ferries has also launched an employee smoking cessation program, to coincide with the new policy.

RELATED: BC Ferries reports record-breaking traffic in first quarter

The company reported this month that driver and passenger traffic was the highest it’s ever been in over 20 years for the months of April, May and June.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Chemistry there, but offence lacking for Fury

Cowichan falls to Vic West 2-0

VIDEO: In time for gift giving: Buddy’s Holly Jolly Christmas show in Cowichan

Ben Klein as Elvis, Cassandra Frie as Brenda Lee join Zachary Stevenson in a great evening of music

LMG stymied in shocking draw

‘One-way traffic’ for 94 minutes but Cowichan can’t score

VIDEO: Giant masks, whimsical puppets and more add up to a Wonderheads Christmas Carol

If you’re thinking Pixar meets Jim Henson, you’re on the right track

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Most Read