A bill co-sponsored by Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) banning drivers still dealing with the consequences of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge from operating NJ Transit trains is now a law.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The law (A-20) prohibits any individual whose driverâ€™s license is suspended or revoked due to driving while intoxicated or refusing to take a breathalyzer test from operating an NJ Transit locomotive or train.
â€œAn individual who lost his or her driving privileges has shown disregard for public safety and should be disqualified from operating trains for our stateâ€™s mass transit system,â€ Chiaravalloti said in a statement.
â€œThis legislation is aimed at making sure NJ Transit meets passengersâ€™ reasonable expectation of a safe ride.â€
Chiaravalloti was joined by U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) at the Secaucus Junction rail station in May, calling for stricter state and federal regulations for train conductors.
Assembly members Joann Downey (D-11), Eric Houghtaling (D-11), Craig Coughlin (D-19) and Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-6) also co-sponsored the legislation.
Concern around this issue arose after an ABC 7 report revealed that an NJ Transit engineer whose license was suspended due to a DWI was still permitted to operate trains.
Federal law governing railroad operations does not prohibit the engineer from retaining the position.