Close your eyes and think about the typical scene on a party bus. You can probably imagine a large group of young people standing on the seats, shouting at their friends, dancing to music, and possibly even drinking alcohol. Now ask yourself – are any of those things against the law? The answer to that question might surprise you.
Whether a party bus gets pulled over or not depends largely on the specific situation and the area. In most cases, normal traffic laws apply to the driver and to the bus company that operates the service. However, many of the typical traffic laws that apply to automobile passengers are not applicable to party bus passengers.
Many law enforcement officers feel that party buses actually make the roads safer, since they offer a safe way for crowds to travel safely, particularly if alcohol is being consumed. The lack of serious regulation on party bus behavior, though, does not mean that there is no cause for passengers or parents to be concerned about their behavior.
Party Bus Transportation Regulations
Drivers who operate party buses are required to abide by typical driving laws during operation, including using an appropriate rate of speed, following traffic signs, and maintaining a valid driver’s license. In addition, drivers who carry 16 passengers or more at a time must obtain a commercial driver’s license.
Bus companies that provide transportation services are legally required to carry adequate insurance coverage. Company owners may be subject to regular audits by state and local transportation departments to examine drivers’ safety records.
Traffic Laws for Party Buses
For the most part, normal automobile traffic laws do not apply to party bus passengers. There is no law against standing or shouting while the bus is in motion and there is no legal standard governing general passenger behavior. In fact, party buses are not even legally obligated to have seatbelts, which means that passengers are not required to wear them during a trip.
Why Passengers Should Exercise Caution
The fact that there are no concrete legal requirements for behavior on a party bus, though, does not give passengers freedom to do anything they like. The lack of legal precedent also gives local law enforcement a bit of latitude when deciding whether to pull a bus over.
Just as there is no law that requires passengers to remain seated, there is no law that prevents police from stopping buses periodically to inspect for illegal behavior. In some areas, party buses have been pulled over and their passengers have been ticketed for participating in underage drinking.
This means that passengers and parents of passengers should exercise some caution when it comes to how they behave while riding on a party bus. Passengers on a party bus are not exempt from the laws of the land that cover substance abuse and assault.
Party buses make it easy for groups to travel to birthday parties and casino trips safely and stylishly. While it’s not common for a party bus to get pulled over by law enforcement, it does happen on occasion. The best way to avoid this situation is to choose a party bus company that abides by traffic regulations and to exercise common sense during your ride on the bus.