Luxury Coach & Transportation

September 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION SEPTEMBER 2018 27 writers have seen enough claims from people who have fallen down while dancing in party buses, other injuries, and even deaths, that they want to minimize any further payouts. Insur- ance companies don't like the term party bus. Gonzales says Aries Charter has always referred to them as limo buses instead of a party bus. Minimizing Limo Bus Risks & Liability Perhaps having a guard on the bus will minimize some risk by maintaining orderly control. Gonzales says it may be the trend of the future. Installing camera systems might be a deterrent to bad behavior or perhaps provide needed defense documentation for a lawsuit. Cameras are required by the Chicago ordinance and have very specific re- quirements for the type, angles, and storage of recorded footage. "Training is the key to minimizing the risk," Gon- zales says. What Went Wrong In Chicago? A number of meetings were held be- ginning in September 2016 with input solicited from ILA members. e origi- nal ordinance was aimed specifically at "party buses" but the language was changed to say "charter buses." e ILA specifically asked if they could hire their own employees who either had a guard card license or employees would be trained and licensed. at was disallowed and third party secu- rity companies must be used. Chang- ing the wording of the ordinance from party bus to charter bus became an umbrella for enforcing the law on ev- erything from a 15-passenger shuttle bus to a 57-passenger coach, DiBiasi says. Gonzales adds, "is ordinance now includes tourism, high school kids, and little old ladies where having a guard on the bus is not appropriate or necessary." ey say it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and most party bus operators who have been cited or in- volved in shootings and other problems are running illegally without a license. "ey don't have the knowledge or man- power to train chauffeurs to deal with passenger issues," Gonzales says. "It's not a horrible idea (the ordi- nance) but it was implemented poorly." e ILA continues to lead its campaign to modify the laws. — Jim@LCTmag.com to have a phone and be able to call for police help. It seems logical the chauf- feur could do the same thing or essen- tially anyone with a cell phone. Gonza- les says, "Having a guard on the bus is extremely impractical," and cited the customer relationship problems it cre- ates when passengers are told they have to pay an additional fee for a guard. It should be noted buses entering Chicago that hold Federal DOT Authority are exempt from the law because local law does not supersede a vehicle operating under federal law. Insurance Matters A Lot Gary Smith, owner of Limousine Scene in Bakersfield, Calif., learned insurance companies troll the websites of their insured operators specifically looking for party bus offerings. If they find you offer a party bus, they may not renew you as was the case for Smith. Smith's longtime insurance agent, Carol Bean, searched for a carrier but was unable to find anyone willing to accept a party bus despite a clean record. Mark Freeark, an agent with the popular industry vendor Transporta- tion Insurance Brokers, says under- Both DiBiasi and Gonzales shared sen- timents of security companies gouging operators because they know they can. is includes imposing four-hour mini- mums. DiBiasi says security companies came out of the woodwork trying to get an invite to speak at an ILA meeting and cash in. e guards themselves pose a new problem. Gonzales cites the logistics of getting the guard onboard for the run and getting the group to give up a seat for a complete stranger to ride with the group. DiBiasi says guards show up armed when they are not supposed to have weapons on the bus. "ey don't dress right, they ask for bikes to be carried along. ey are not profes- sional, and yet they need them to be in the vehicle but they don't fit in based on their attire." How Effective Is A Security Guard Aboard A Party Bus? DiBiasi wonders how effective they are since they are not allowed to carry weapons but yet one reason for having them is because of passengers becom- ing involved in shootings. In an oddity, the security guard's main function is PHOTO/ILLUSTRATION: KEVIN HAEGELE, LCT ART DIRECTOR

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