Renting a party bus is an awesome way to reward your teenager making through 4 years of high school drama politics, but all party bus companies are not created equal. Take the story of the 17-year-old prom-bound teen that fell out of a party bus window on June 7, 2014.
The accident happened in Mission Viejo, California at around 7:20 p.m, with 59 high school seniors as passengers. Charlotte Boyse was standing on one of the seats when somehow she tumbled out and landed on the highway. Fortunately she was not seriously injured, but did sustain some cuts and bruises. She was able to call 911 and was treated and released from the hospital the next day.
An investigation uncovered that while no one on board was intoxicated, including the driver, the company itself, Leon Party Bus, had been operation illegally.
Party buses must have are required by law to have a United States Department of Transportation number and must obtain a local business license – two things a parent, or anyone for that matter may not think to ask for when search for a party bus to rent. Having a DoT number ensures that the business carries the proper insurance and meets standard safety requirements.
Because the industry is so under regulated many companies, like Leon Party Bus, successfully fly under the radar, undetected for years.
“The frustration is that you have no place in which to turn in order to do the due diligence necessary to make sure your kids are safe” said Conrad Boyse, father of the teen.
The situation could have been a lot worse, but “luckily the bus was moving slow 25-30 mph and moving uphill” as told by Officer Florentino Olivera, the officer investigating the incident.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. In Kansas City, during a bachelorette party, a party bus was headed down the highway and hit a bump. Jamie Frecks, a passenger on board tumbled out of the rear door into oncoming traffic. She died at the scene. Once again the company, Midnight Express Party Bus Service, was operating without the proper licensing, with the rear door ajar. A malfunction with the vehicles warning system made it impossible to know of the pending danger until it was too late.
While both of these stories are troubling, it’s even more discouraging to the professional chauffeur industry and the companies operating within the law and providing excellent, safe, ground transportation for those looking to have a wonderful evening with friends.
And while more enforcement and regulations are sure to come, some feel like governmental bodies are moving to slow in the case of California it’s been shown that it takes on average 238 days – a little more than seven months for an investigation to be completed.
So what are some solutions that parents and party goers can do to ensure that they are traveling safely when they enter a party bus? Here is a list of suggestions:
1. Ask to see permits: Most people believe that because party buses are a sub-section of the limo industry that they fall under the same type of jurisdiction. Actually party bus rides are deemed as buses and are required to have the same safety inspections performed. Drivers must have a Class B license and must keep daily logs. You should always ask to see these, as well as insurance and license numbers, before agree to rent from a business. The number is will be located on the front and rear of the vehicles bumper.
2. Capacity – Like limousines, a party bus has a capacity limit which of often overstated by unscrupulous operators. This is more of a comfort issue, but can lead to safety issues as well. Make sure to “personally” check and take account of the seating positioning and request and both and “ideal” and approximate number of passenger the vehicle can comfortably transport.
3. Amenities: Most people are “dazzled” when they step onto a party bus and thought of how impressive it will be to guest. Flat screen TV’s, club lighting and such can be a distraction to possible malfunctioning parts. Make sure to check all the lighting and the post holding things in place.
4. Use a referral service: Knowing the correct questions to ask and whether the paper work you’re presented with when requested can be a bit intimidating and time consuming. If you find yourself short on time and cannot do the necessary foot work and security checks yourself, consider using a referral service like St. Louis Party Bus Rental.
5. Don’t go for the cheapest price: Ever heard the term “Good service is not cheap and cheap service is not good?” That holds true for party buses just the same. Illegally operated businesses are good for undercutting reputable companies, sure you may be saving money, but at what cost?
Remember that a little bit of due diligence will go a long way in protecting you, your guest and your children from any unfortunate accidents. The problem
If you live in the Saint Louis area and are considering renting a party bus visit our website for a free quote or call us at (314) 315-4489