RMV and BPD Operation Targets School Transport Vans
Surprise Inspections Find Widespread Safety Violations
(Boston, MA)-Teams of RMV inspectors and Boston Police Officers manning ten checkpoints across the city uncovered a disturbing number of safety violations among 132 school transport vans and cars they pulled over and inspected as part of a joint investigation dubbed "Operation Guardian Angel." Inspectors cited the drivers of 100 vehicles for 132 violations that included driving without the special 7-D license required for pupil transports, equipment defects such as bald tires and not using seat belts. One driver was charged with overloading his van with 10 children.
Registrar Anne L. Collins who took part in the sting-operation said half of the children in that van should have been in car seats. "This kind of operation should be a wake-up call for parents who need to ask tough questions about who is driving their children to school or day care and whether they are safe in the vehicle. This number of violations in just one city says to me we have a troubling safety problem."
This is the ninth time since 2002 the Registry of Motor Vehicles and Boston Police Department have teamed up to run the safety checkpoints. Inspectors checked an average of 120 vehicles during operations and wrote scores of violations each time.
Drivers of the so called 7-D vehicles must undergo a criminal background check to apply for a special license. 7-D vehicles, usually cargo vans and station wagons must also undergo special inspections twice a year to ensure safety features are working properly. Five drivers in the latest operation were cited for not holding a 7-D license while bald tires, missing fire extinguishers and other equipment defects with the vehicles collected 40 violations.
This year, RMV inspectors also conducted spot checks of regular yellow school busses. Of 61 busses flagged down, 31 drivers were cited for not wearing a seat belt. In all, police officers wrote $5,375 in citations as a result of the operation.