Beck-Sweeney NJT train engineer restriction bill enacted
The furor over a NJ Transit employee's clearance to pilot passenger trains, despite a 10-year impairment-related driver's license suspension, results in a law that bars the practice.
Governor Chris Christie enacted the measure by shore-based state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) that prohibits operation of NJ Transit engines by anyone with DUI-related license suspensions or revocations. It also applies to anyone who refuses to take a breath-analysis test in New Jersey or any other state.
"It's incomprehensible that people who were prohibited from driving a car due to DUI-related issues were allowed to continue driving trains with hundreds of passengers," said Beck in prepared remarks. "I'm glad that the Legislature and Governor Christie were able to act so quickly to fix this outrageous loophole in state law."
The bill was introduced in late May, in the aftermath of a WABC-TV investigative report concerning engineer Thomas Broschart. It reached the Governor's desk a month later.
The report concluded that there simply was no applicable state law. For the report, NJ Transit cited federal law.
"The speed with which the Legislature acted to fast-track this bill is a sign of how important it is," Beck added. "The nearly 400,000 people who board NJ Transit trains on an average weekday expect and deserve a safe ride."