State commission looks to crack down on 'party buses'

SEATTLE -- State regulators say they must do better to protect people against the potential dangers of "party buses."

On Monday the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission released its investigation report and recommendations.

The investigation, which was sparked by 14 party bus deaths in the U.S. And Canada in the past four years, found 19 companies that weren't properly certified in Washington.

While none of the 14 deaths occurred in Washington, the commission wants to prevent such tragedies from happening in this state.

"We have a real challenge on our hands with this relatively new form of transportation," said UTC chairman David Danner, who requested the investigation. "We need to do everything possible to protect the people of our state."

One of the recommendations was to prohibit party bus companies from providing alcohol to passengers. The UTC will work with the party industry and other agencies before making its full recommendation to the legislature during its next session.

The full UTC report is available online.