After authorities discovered that a horrendous accident which left five marines and two of their wives dead was caused by a Ukranian-born truck driver who should have had his license suspended because of multiple DUIs and drug charges, Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker ordered an internal investigation of the commonwealth's Registry of Motor Vehicles. That investigation revealed there were hundreds, if not thousands, of flagged drivers who potentially should not be on the road due to previous charges and violations of the law. As of Tuesday, July 2, 546 individuals have had their licenses suspended due to previous infractions which make then a danger to other drivers on the road.
According to the Boston Herald, "The Registry of Motor Vehicles let tens of thousands of alerts on Massachusetts drivers’ violations in other states accumulate for more than a year, unprocessed in 53 bins, in a deadly bureaucratic failure that Gov. Charlie Baker admits has tested public confidence in his administration."
On Monday, Governor Baker and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack held a press conference to discuss how the lapse in government oversight occurred.
Apparently, nobody in the government assigned the job to investigative the claims. “No registry employees had been tasked with the job of monitoring that queue,” Pollack said.
If somebody had been assigned this task, they would have likely come across the driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, who was arrested in relation to the crash in New Hampshire at the end of the state's famous "Bike Week." While working for a shipping and transport company, Zhukovskyy killed the seven aforementioned individuals after his truck slammed into the group of motorcycles. His name was in the database, but since nobody was monitoring the system, he was allowed to obtain a commercial driver's license in Massachusetts.
“The RMV failed to act on critically important information that had been previously communicated by another state,” Governor Baker said. “This failure is completely unacceptable to me, to the residents of the commonwealth who expect the RMV to do its job and track drivers’ records.”
The governor acknowledged that he will "have to work" to get trust back from the public in his administration.
While the initial review has resulted in hundreds of licenses suspended, Pollack told the press that the "initial review of the state’s 115,000 commercial licenses in the system will be expanded to include all of the roughly 5.2 million licensed drivers in the state, which would run them all directly against the national databases."