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Booking a limo for New Year’s Eve? Beware of this Michigan limo company

December 26, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

Here are 5 limo and party bus safety tips to keep you safe this holiday

limo safety

Many people are excitedly planning for New Year’s Eve.  For some, that means using Uber or Lyft or calling a taxi if they plan on celebrating (here are some legal tips if you are involved in an automobile accident in an Uber vehicle). For many others, it’s renting a limousine or party bus and bar hopping around Detroit or Grand Rapids.

We’re all for safe rides, and all of our attorneys fully support hiring a limousine service, taxi or Uber to be your designated driver if you’ve had too much to drink.

But there are still some safety issues to keep in mind before you make that call to get home.

To start with, is the limo company or the bus company you’re booking to take you home safe, ahem, actually safe?

In Dearborn, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is advising consumers not to book any transportation with Entertainment Express, Inc. and Entertainment Limousine, which operate out as one entity under the advertised name “Entertainment Express Limousine and Party Bus.”

This company’s limo vehicles have failed several MDOT safety inspections and were subsequently cited multiple times by the Michigan State Police and local law enforcement for operating without a valid safety inspection, according to a recent press release by MDOT. Meanwhile, MDOT has revoked the company’s bus and limousine operating authorities as they’re no longer authorized to provide for-hire passenger transportation under law.

By law, all for-hire bus and limousine carriers are required to have an MDOT certificate of authority, proper commercial liability insurance, pass vehicle safety inspections, and pay fees in order to operate on Michigan roads.

Sadly, the FMCSA has caved into pressure from the trucking industry recently, and removed safety scores and CSA data from its website, but bus company safety information is still available online.

Here are a few safety tips for you to check into before booking a limo or party bus:

  1. Check if a bus or limousine carrier is licensed before stepping into a vehicle or signing a contract. To do so, visit the MDOT Bus and Limousine website, then select “Current List of Carriers” under “Additional Information” to see if the company is licensed by the state. If a company is not listed, it is likely that the operator is providing service illegally and should not be used.
  2. Look for the safety inspection decals. Valid MDOT decals are located on the left-hand side of all for-hire buses and limousines. Depending on the vehicle, the decals will either be affixed to a window closest to the driver or a rear-side window.
  3. Inquire about the company’s insurance. There are unfortunately numerous companies around that do not carry the proper commercial insurance coverage on their fleet to protect the consumer in the event of an accident or other mishap. A reputable company will have the required commercial insurance coverage and will have no problem providing you with a certificate of coverage.
  4. Inquire about your chauffeur’s experience. Make sure he has the proper licensing and experience, which equals your safety on the road.
  5. Once you’ve made your selection, ask for a detailed contract. Your contract should include the date of service, the time of pickup, number of hours you have reserved the vehicle, the vehicle’s assigned fleet number, the total price of the contract, including driver’s gratuity, overtime charges, and routing information.

Our attorneys wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year’s.

Related info:

Who pays my No Fault benefits if I’m injured in a limo?

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