Georgia Officials Protecting Prom Goers From Illegal Limo Operators
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember a story from last month about a group of Georgia prom goers who were stranded and had their prom ruined by an illegal and unethical limousine service. In the wake of that incident, officials with the Georgia Public Service Commission are working with the Atlanta Police Department to conduct spot checks of limousines, party buses and other luxury vehicles on prom nights. The checks are intended to safeguard kids from illegal limo operators who do not have required insurance coverage, proper licensing and registration of drivers and vehicles.
The members of the Georgia Limousine Association are getting into the act, too, by providing backup limos and party buses for any students who are unknowingly riding in illegal limousines. The recent spike in arrests for illegal limo services in the area prompted state, local and professional groups to work together to protect area kids and ensure that everyone has a safe and memorable prom. They are also working together to find the illegal party bus and driver that stranded and endangered several prom attendees last month.
“A number of agencies are working together to find this bus. It has an expired Illinois tag on it. The Department of Public Safety will eventually get them (U.S. Party Bus). We know where they will be and it will probably be in May that we will find them,” said Tim Echols, Chairman of PSC Transportation Committee.
The PSC is Georgia’s equivalent of the Citizens Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) here in California. Like the CPUC, the PSC registers transportation companies and ensures compliance with state laws for insurance coverage, proper licensing and other aspects of the for-hire transportation industry. They also have the authority to seize illegal vehicles, issue fines and enforce state regulations. One PSC official cautioned parents of prom goers to check the PSC site for a list of licensed, ethical limousine services.
“Parents need to be more in tune with what they are actually paying for. As far as knowing if the (transportation) company has insurance, if they are licensed to do business with the state. This has been an on-going problem for years. The first mistake parents made was dealing with a company out of state. Then there was the pricing that should have raised red flags; paying $350 to $375 an hour is totally outrageous,” he said.
We bring these issues to light again and again because we want to inform and protect people from unscrupulous limo operators who endanger the lives of their guests. We have the same problems with illegal limo drivers here in the Bay Area, and we want our guests to know that we take their safety seriously. Our limousines, party buses and other luxury vehicles, as well as our chauffeurs, are fully licensed and insured, and we are in full compliance with CPUC regulations. Our CPUC-issued number is TCP-7147A, and you can look us up on their site at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/transportation/passengers/.