RMV officials answer to lawmakers after failing to suspend thousands of drivers licenses

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday was the second round of questioning for officials at the RMV.

This time, the people who were in charge of filing out of state citations were pressed on their role in failing to suspend thousands of drivers licenses.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles discovered that 23-year-old West Springfield resident Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was driving with a license that should have been suspended, when the truck he was driving collided with a group of motorcycles in New Hampshire, killing seven people.

Zhukovskyy had been cited for OUI in Connecticut, and an internal audit subsequently found more than 13,000 similar citations had gone unprocessed at the RMV for years.

Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) asked: “Do you think it was possible that this crash could have been prevented and that those individuals in New Hampshire lives would not have been lost if there was proper notification and if the recommendations of your audit on April 3rd were acted upon?”

RMV officials told committee members that they had alerted former Registrar Erin Devaney about the backlog of out-of-state citations, but the department responsible for processing those citations was never made clear.

“Those violation notices traditionally were sent to the Driver Control Unit, the Driver Control Unit did not have data entry staff nor did it have a significant amount of administrative staff,” Devaney responded.

Members of the Merit Rating Board thought the Driver Control Unit would handle out of state citations, and members of the Driver Control Unit thought the Merit Rating Board would handle them causing them to go unprocessed for years.

State lawmakers said they will continue their investigation into this issue until someone is held accountable.

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