New Orleans Increasing Enforcement on Party Buses
"We are ramping up enforcement in all areas. Now is the time to make sure you are in compliance. This is a public safety issue and public safety is a top priority," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said April 10.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has reminded residents who operate as charter party carriers, also known as party bus operators, that the city is increasing enforcement and they should obey the rules, regulations, and laws on the books. "We are ramping up enforcement in all areas. Now is the time to make sure you are in compliance. This is a public safety issue and public safety is a top priority," Cantrell said April 10.
An overview of the standards and requirements for charter party carriers from the city's Department of Safety & Permits is available here.
The mayor's news release listed questions that residents should ask when considering the rental of a party bus:
- Does your party bus have a Certificate of Public Necessity (CPNC) issued by the city of New Orleans? They can verify this by searching the CPNC number on onestopapp.nola.gov. The number means the operator is properly insured and the vehicle is appropriately registered.
- Are your party bus drivers licensed by the city of New Orleans? This, too, they can verify by searching the driver's name or permit number; the number means the driver has the appropriate type of license to operate a large commercial vehicle, has a clean driving record, has passed a background check and drug test, and has completed defensive driving training.
- Is your bus a retrofitted school bus or trailer? If so, this is a red flag, according to the release, which states that retrofitted school buses and trailers are rarely appropriately registered or insured to transport passengers.
- Is your bus a limo-bus or charter bus? If so, the vehicle is more likely to be safe, insured, and registered., but residents are advised they should still request proof, such as a CPNC number.
Residents also are advised to look for several conditions of non-compliance. Not having a license plate typically means the vehicle is not registered and is not properly insured. If the top of the bus is cut off, this is a safety hazard and the vehicle would not pass inspection and would likely be uninsurable. If a trailer is hitched to a vehicle, that presents a safety hazard for transporting people. Trailers with license plates are acceptable for hauling but are not safe or insured for passenger transport. If a portable toilet is present, it presents an added hazard for sanitary reasons.
The holder of a CPNC must file and keep in effect at all time, a policy of insurance with an insurance company licensed to do business in the state of Louisiana. At a minimum, the policy must provide the following coverage:
- For vehicles up to 15 passengers: $1.5 million Combined Single Limit coverage
- For vehicles with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers: $5 million Combined Single Limit coverage
- All charter party carriers shall carry: $1 million in General Liability coverage