Horribly Misplaced Priorities

Boston Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles RMV

Boston Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles RMV

(Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — What a story in yesterday’s Globe about the total incompetence of officials at the Registry of Motor Vehicles who allowed boxes of notifications from other states of drunk driving arrests of Massachusetts drivers to “languish in storage for years.”

As reporters Matt Stout and Laura Crimaldi put it: the neglect “paints a picture of an agency that was long aware of the problems festering within its backrooms but often opted to instead squirrel them away in an innocuous bin or inbox.”

This all came out after the fiasco in New Hampshire when a Massachusetts licensee with a long record of negligent driving slaughtered seven motorcyclists with his truck.

As the father of one of the victims puts it to the Globe: “That goes beyond gross negligence. It’s willful negligence.”

Did any of the Registry officials who knew of the backlog and did nothing about it – or their higher-ups who claim they knew nothing about the gross incompetence occurring on their watch – want these terrible deaths to occur as a result?

Of course not.

But I take that grieving father’s point.

Charlie Baker ran for governor in 2014 aggressively touting his goal of better customer service at the RMV. But that apparently did not include the most important customer service of all – protecting public safety.

It reminds me of the Massport officials who ignored repeated warnings from their own people of lax security at Logan in the runup to 9/11.

They prioritized other things over safety – and we all paid the price.

That father is right when he says “they weren’t doing their job.”

And because they weren’t, lives have been destroyed.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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