Football fans in Kansas could be getting something extra with their tickets this fall: a flier reminding them of state rules for driving to games in commercial buses, vans or recreational vehicles.
The Kansas Corporation Commission has begun a campaign to raise awareness of the state's for-hire vehicle regulations. The goal is to help prevent an accident similar to last year's deadly crash in Lawrence involving a bus full of Kansas State University football fans.
"I think the best thing we've learned from it is we still have a long way to go to get all the information out to the public" about state guidelines, said Mike Hoeme, director of transportation for the Kansas Corporation Commission.
Hoeme appeared before the presidents of the state's public universities Wednesday in Topeka prior to a Kansas Board of Regents meeting. He asked for the schools' help distributing a flier created by the commission that lists some of the rules for commercial vehicles, including insurance requirements and the need for a commercial driver's license.
"Safety needs to be considered in every trip," Hoeme said. "We want (fans) to understand that if they are doing this or thinking about doing it, these regulations will apply."
Hoeme asked the schools to consider sending the flier out with sports tickets. A sample flier reads "Plan a safe trip to the next Wildcat game."
"If you plan to travel to the game in a converted bus ... be aware of the minimum safety requirements for passenger service providers," the flier says. "Modified motor vehicles with main level or rooftop decks must have procedures or restrictions in place to limit occupancy."
One K-State fan died and another was seriously injured in November when they struck an overpass near 15th and Iowa streets in Lawrence while riding on a deck atop the Cat Tracker fan bus. The driver, 41-year-old Brent Simonsson, of Wamego, did not have a commercial license.
As of Wednesday, the wreck was still under review by District Attorney Charles Branson's office for possible criminal charges. So far, no civil lawsuits have been filed in Douglas County against Simonsson or the owner of the bus, Manhattan lawyer Robert Pottroff.
Hoeme said his office had conducted a review of the wreck for potential violations of the state's transportation regulations. But he said he couldn't discuss that report publicly on Wednesday because no final order has been issued by the commission.
The order could come in the next few weeks.
"The commission, based on our statutory directive, will issue a legal order with whatever the findings are and the resolution," said Rosemary Foreman, a spokeswoman for the commission. "There's always a possibility of fines."
Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director, said Wednesday he didn't know whether the school would distribute the fliers with athletic tickets.
"At the very least, we could put something on our Web site and in newsletters, things like that," he said.