Poll: Should Party Bus Drivers Be Responsible for Drunk Passengers?

After Santa Cruz resident Natasha Noland, 25, died the evening of July 27 from falling from a party bus in Los Gatos, lawmakers contemplate a bill that would hold bus drivers and owners responsible.

Last weekend,

Natasha Noland and another young woman, both highly inebriated, allegedly began physically fighting and Noland fell from the bus and died after the bus ran over her.

Under California law, party bus owners and drivers do not assume responsibility for their passengers, in contrast to limousine companies that do.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill introduced his bill, AB 45, a year and a half ago to hold bus drivers and owners (in addition to limousine companies) accountable for under-age drinking.

The measure has passed in the Assembly and is working its way through the Senate.

jill hansen August 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM
The drunken individual is dead you idiot. She was being responcible by NOT driving. The driver was responcible she trusted the driver with her life!
SteamGatos August 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I could be wrong about this but its a party bus meant for the consumption of hard liqueur in an environment somewhat suitable for -PARTAY. 1 Yes, maybe the driver should have been 6 foot tall half as wide with a bull voice to match, commanding all to sit and settle down, arms resting on their thighs, palms upright, OR ELSE. But what kind of party would that be? 2 Maybe the driver should have ESP to detect a brawl going on in the back of the bus while loud rock and other activities are going on. 3 Maybe the emergency door should have been riveted shut with a welding seal, or at least a warehouse padlock, the type where the key itself weighs 18 ounces. But that would be rather troublesome to get that door open in an actual emergency especially if the "key guy" cannot be found . Instead --we probably got a skinny person who was hired to drive the bus. Yes he was hired to drive the bus.. And he was hired to drive the bus. --Tanked up passengers who cannot be trusted with their own car keys and were probably gyrating and dancing about, it IS a party bus. --properly operating emergency door that can be opened up in an emergency. But regrettably, this door cannot tell the difference between an injured person who is missing a hand and has no fingers on the other; and drunks brawling, grabbing at its handle. --and more than likely the the fight was unnoticed as this is an activity common to drunks and usually nobody gets hurt that bad. except this one time.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz August 05, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I too don't think that the driver is at fault here. Unless he/she was inebriated, in any which way or form. Accidents happen, & unfortunately tragedy takes place. I'm so very sure the driver still feels bad.
jill hansen August 06, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im very upset it was my sons ex girlfriend only a few months ago! The whole thing is a mess we want to lable someone or something....Its a witch hunt! Safety issues should be represented and employee protocol. Along with public drunkeness, and under age drinking.
Kit Menkin August 06, 2012 at 12:18 AM
The responsibility belongs to the the two who were fighting. The survivor of the fight is the direct person responsible. Whether people observing have responsibility is a question we can talk about from many viewpoints. As the driver of the bus, the captain of the airplance, the captain of the ship, the responsbility of the safety of the passengers is their paramount importance. The driver has responsibility. Is he guility of the accident, most likely not, or the door opening, most likely not (unless opened it.) Did he have any responsibility? he certainly did and how much is up to a jury in a trial to decide when all the evidence is presented, and then up to the judge to decide the punishment, if any.


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