Party Bus Companies Focus on Safety

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EUGENE, Ore. — Local party bus companies are reacting, after a Portland girl fell out of a window of a bus and died.

The driver in the party bus crash that killed the 11-year-old didn’t have a valid commercial driver’s license. Portland police say the little girl leaned against an emergency window and fell out of the bus as it was making a turn in downtown Portland.

Some local companies are stepping up safety measures.

My Party Bus owner Sean Lee says all of the buses have two emergency exit windows, and while not locked, they have a latch that can be opened in an emergency. It would be difficult to fall out if they were latched, but if someone was sitting up on the edge of the window, like the girl allegedly was, and the latch got hit some could see how this could happen.

Lee says he always acts as host on his buses, so there is another set of eyes watching people besides the drivers. He says a commercial driver’s license is also required.

“It’s pretty obvious you don’t open them, the signs are there and everything. I mean yeah definitely having a system where the music would shut off perhaps would be great or a buzzer would go off by the driver and let them know the window is open,” said Sean Lee, My Party Bus Owner.

That’s the system the owner of Alexander Limousine says he’s retrofitting his fleet with. He has a new emergency window alarm. It will indicate to the driver the exact window that has been opened and will kill the sound system and activate an alarm. The company’s owner decided to do this after finding an emergency window open at the end of a run.

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    I can’t speak for other companies running party busses but my company is strongly committed to saftey. We have retrofitted a saftey a system on our bus with multipul emergency windows simular to the one involved in the Portland accident. When renting a party bus people should be aware of saftey measures. We are accredited by the department of transportation. They audit our saftey through detailed inspections. The same can’t be said about some party bus operators. My sympathy goes out to the family of the accident victim in Portland. Jeff Alexander OREGON PARTY BUS

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