We’ve been giving Massachusetts a hard time about their bureaucracy. The driver who killed 7 in a deadly collision in Randolph, NH earlier this year wasn’t supposed to be behind the wheel. But NH, it appears, wasn’t doing much better on their reporting.
In New Hampshire, Bielecki said reviews of the backlogs resulted in more than 900 New Hampshire residents receiving a suspension notice because of violations committed out of state.
She also said New Hampshire sent 13,912 notices of violations committed in New Hampshire by drivers from other states. Nearly half of those notifications involved the suspension of driving privileges in New Hampshire.
Another 1,508 suspension notices were sent to New Hampshire residents because of state court defaults, while 1,433 notices were sent to nonresidents, she said.
Governor Sununu says it’s different than the situation in Massachusetts. Put simply, no one died. But isn’t that more a matter of fortune than process?
Not entirely. Sununu mentions privacy laws.
On Wednesday, Sununu acknowledged the state has not been sending Massachusetts notifications about driver violations but said the information-sharing between New Hampshire and other states is complicated by New Hampshire privacy laws.
Anyone familiar with how NH privacy laws might prevent New Hampshire from notifying other states of violations that warrant license suspensions, please let me know. I’d love to hear that story.
As for our list of shame, if someone died, we’d be writing about the incompetence of state government (again) and seeking scalps here. Because we had the good fortune not to have that happen, well get something similar to what I predicted for the Bay State. The Left will seize the opportunity to grow government instead of looking for opportunities for efficiency.
Democrat New Hampshire State Senator David ‘rising’ Watters, interviewed by the Globe, remarked on that very point.
David Watters, a New Hampshire state senator and chair of the Transportation Committee, said members were aware of staffing challenges at the DMV but not the backlog. “If there are staffing issues or laws that at all compromise public safety, we look forward to working with the governor to address them,” Watters said
How long before they blame the Governor’s budget veto?
Disregarding that, I can imagine a lot of things that might need to happen daily at New Hampshire’s Department of Safety. Violations leading to license revocations should have ranked high on the list. So, before we decide to use a tragedy to stack the deck, relevant authorities should be looking at the technology (they thought would help) and the priorities placed on the workload.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy should never have been driving. The odds are good there are few more like him hiding in the piles of unprocessed suspensions. And not just in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The government doesn’t do much right, but here’s an opportunity to find them before more people die.
| Boston Globe (subscription)