Are there rules and regulations that protect passengers and the public against a limousine accident in Wichita? What should people know about renting a limousine for a special occasion or a trip to the airport? While state and federal laws loosely regulate the limousine industry, the Wichita Code of Ordinances does place considerable requirements on limousine operators. This helps protect passengers and the public, but like any rule or regulation, it is not foolproof. This means that any time a person rents a limousine, there is always the potential for an accident.
Wichita Chapter 3.85
Chapter 3.85 governs charter limousine operators in Wichita. These are defined as anyone who has a specially constructed vehicle with four or six doors and a nine-person maximum capacity. It also defines limousines to include four-door luxury sedans, those rented out on a per-hour basis, and those vehicles operated by a chauffeur.
These vehicles must have a knob/handle on side doors that can be opened from both inside and outside the vehicle. In the event of an emergency, this ensures passengers can exit the vehicle safely and quickly without the chauffeur's assistance.
Vehicles are also prohibited from transporting more passengers than the vehicle's maximum passenger capacity, and at no time are there to be more than two passengers in the front seat. Further, limousine services are prevented from operating their vehicles as taxis operating on a regular route or time schedule.
Before each trip, drivers must present their valid driver's license to their supervisor. They must also thoroughly document the details of their journey in their daily log and record the total number of hours for each charter.
Other provisions include requirements for insurance, as well as registration and licensure with the respective local, state, and federal entities, including securing a certificate of public convenience that allows them to operate within the city.
Violations of the Law = Stiff Penalties
Charter limousine drivers are held to the same high standards as other commercial motor vehicle operators. This includes revocation or suspension of their license when leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failure to report accidents, the conviction of three major traffic violations in a 12-month period, and more.
Vehicle Safety Is Still Questionable
While charter limousine operators and chauffeurs are regulated in Wichita, the fact is that the vehicles themselves remain inherently hazardous. For starters, most are frankencreations, meaning they are standard vehicles that have been cut in two, stretched, then welded and bolted back together. In a limousine accident, these vehicles may lack the structural support and strength needed to resist the forces applied on impact.
The size of limousines also poses a problem. They have an exceptionally large turning radius, which makes both u-turns and regular turns difficult. Coupled with blind spots and slower speed due to often underpowered engines, this creates a considerable risk of being sideswiped or rear-ended.
Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik is a limousine accident lawyer in Kansas who represents individuals who suffer personal injuries and wrongful deaths in chartered vehicle accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.