New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Responds to Rail Union Lawsuit to Allow Engineers with DUI Suspensions to Drive Trains

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) responded to a lawsuit filed by rail unions to overturn a recent law she sponsored which prohibits NJ Transit engineers from operating trains while their driver’s license is suspended or revoked for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Sen. Jennifer Beck sponsored the recently enacted law that rail unions are challenging which prohibits engineers from operating NJ Transit trains if their driver’s license is revoked or suspended for DUI. (SenateNJ.com)

According to a published report, rail worker unions believe the law conflicts with looser federal regulations and doesn’t improve safety.

“The rails unions’ claim that it doesn’t improve passenger safety to keep convicted drunk drivers with suspended licenses from operating trains defies common sense,” said Beck. “If you are so untrustworthy that you are prohibited by law from driving a car, you should not be trusted with the lives of hundreds of passengers riding in a train.”

The legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Christie on August 31, 2016, was introduced following an investigative report by WABC on a New Jersey Transit engineer who was permitted under state law to continue driving commuter trains despite having lost his motor vehicle driver’s for ten years for alcohol related issues, the latest in a string of such suspensions.

“Having a state law that is more stringent than what federal rules require is not a conflict,” added Beck. “With the recent crash at Hoboken Terminal, we’ve seen the devastation that can be caused when rail accidents happen. Perhaps federal regulators should consider tightening their rules to follow New Jersey’s example to better protect rail passengers across the country.”

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