MassDOT RMV and Boston Police Target Pupil Transport Vehicles During 11th Operation Guardian AngelUndercover Teams Stop and Inspect 7-D Vehicles for Safety Violations

(Boston, MA) - MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicle inspectors and Boston Police officers stopped 149 vans and station wagons carrying infants and toddlers to Boston day care centers and pre-schools during an early morning crackdown on so called 7-D pupil transport vehicles

Teams of officers and inspectors set up nine safety checkpoints throughout the city as part of a joint investigation dubbed "Operation Guardian Angel." Police issued 123 violations with $5,350 in fines that included driving without the required 7-D license, vehicle equipment defects such as bald tires, overloading passengers and not properly securing children in car seats or seat belts.

Registrar Rachel Kaprielian who took part in the sting-operation said it was heartbreaking to find even one child being put at risk. "The RMV has many responsibilities, but none more important than keeping this most vulnerable population safe. We need to assure parents that their children are riding in safe vehicles with properly trained drivers. But parents can help by being vigilant and asking tough questions."

This is the eleventh time since 2002 that MassDOT RMV and Boston Police have conducted the safety checkpoints. In 2008, teams checked 191 vehicles and wrote 206 violations. Twenty two operators were cited for driving without the 7-D license.

Drivers of 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 today's operation were cited for not holding a 7-D license and their companies were charged with allowing improperly licensed operators behind the wheel. Fifty-six violations were also issued for equipment defects.

Under the new safe driving law which took effect September 30, 2010, 7-D drivers are subject to a $500 fine if they are caught using a mobile telephone while driving with passengers. None of the drivers stopped today were cited for that offense.

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