Following a fatal accident that occurred in Żurrieq last April, Maltese double-decker bus operators have unanimously agreed to not give out permits to local graduates looking to organise buscades this year.
Each year, student groups rent out open double-deckers as part of their celebrations and students are known to crowd on the top floor while drinking and singing along to loud music. Student organisations and students have often been heavily criticised by authorities and the University of Malta, though they only got more daring each year. However, this year’s incident in Żurrieq raised alarms among transport authorities and double-decker operators and so no double deckers will be rented out to students for their graduation celebrations going forward.
City Sightseeing Malta, the company whose bus was involved in the Żurrieq accident, told Lovin Malta they had stopped renting out double-decker buses to student graduates. A Transport Malta official, on the other hand, explained that “the law remains the same”, going on to say that TM does not issue buscade permits. “Transport Malta licences the vehicles, as any other vehicle on the road and enforcement officers perform spot checks as with other commercial vehicles,” the official told Lovin Malta.
In the April roadside accident, an open double-decker bus had hit the hanging branches of a tree, resulting in the tragic deaths of a Belgian man and a Spanish woman, while 50 other passengers were also injured with some in critical condition. The accident investigations are still ongoing.