Apologies, Promises To Improve At Meeting On RMV

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State transportation officials apologized to the families of seven bikers killed in New Hampshire last month, and vowed to fix the failures at the Registry of Motor Vehicles that may have led to their deaths.

"We're gonna win back that faith of the public," Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told the MassDOT Board of Directors at their Finance and Audit Committee meeting Wednesday.

The RMV has been rocked in the aftermath of the death of seven bikers in Randolph, New Hampshire last month. The bikers were killed in a crash allegedly caused by a Massachusetts driver whose license should have been pulled.

Despite the fact that officials in Connecticut twice warned the Massachusetts RMV about 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukhovskyy's drunk driving charges, he was not kept from driving—because the RMV didn't open those warnings.

Since the crash, it was revealed that the RMV had a backlog of thousands of out-of-state warnings about drivers' violations and infractions in other states. This revelation led to Registrar Erin Deveney's resignation.

Board Chair Betsy Taylor opened the meeting with apologies to the families of the seven bikers killed. As far as winning back the public's trust, Taylor said the RMV has a long way to go.

"The standards for notification are governed by each of the 50 states," she said. "There is, therefore, a regrettable lack of uniformity. So, we need some sense of what the common threads are and what the, I'll call them 'best practices' are in terms of notification."

Pollack said the goal is to have every piece of mail opened within one business day of reception.

"We have given ourselves a goal of, on the day it is received or within one business day, if we get a piece of mail from another state that says someone is not supposed to be on the road, we're acting on it."

The problem, Pollack said, is that much of the communication is done on paper. She wants to see it done electronically, and said some of it will be, as the Commonwealth implements new software.

Photo Courtesy of Miranda Thompson

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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