Sweeney Bill Banning DUI Train Operators Now Law

SWEENEY CRANFORD

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney that prohibits NJ Transit train engineers whose driver’s licenses are suspended or revoked for DUI convictions from operating any passenger trains was signed into law today.

“This is a public safety problem that will now be corrected,” said Senator Sweeney. “Those with DUI violations should not be allowed to get behind the controls of a passenger train carrying thousands of people a day. If they aren’t allowed to drive a car, they shouldn’t be entrusted with the safety of train passengers. It’s that simple and with this law it will make those rules clear.”

Reports revealed that a New Jersey Transit engineer continues to operate a passenger train despite having his motor vehicle license suspended three times, twice for driving while intoxicated and once for failing to comply with the mandatory alcohol program. His license has been suspended for 10 years.

The bill, S-20, which was introduced and quickly moved through the Senate, will cover all NJ Transit workers who operate trains.

“Railway safety is as important as roadway safety,” said Senator Sweeney. “We have seen the tragic consequences of train accidents and we don’t want them to be repeated.”

The law will take effect immediately.

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