Jitney commuter van oversight

Dear Editor: The following is an open letter to Assemblywoman Jimenez
Dear Honorable Assemblywoman Jimenez:
I am contacting your office directly, in wake of the horrific accident that occurred on Boulevard East in West New York, in which an innocent 8 month old infant girl was killed. There are no words that are able to express the grief and sorrow this family is experiencing because of this tragic incident. As you are well aware from the current news articles in the Jersey Journal, the jitney van driver has been charged with death by auto and other numerous charges in this incident. In my 34 years on the West New York Police Department, I have borne witness to the damage and threat to public safety that these commuter vans have posed throughout the years. Furthermore, the lack of any type of oversight on this form of transportation is a major public safety issue that needs immediate attention. During the past decade, this issue has been reported on and discussed, but no comprehensive actions have ever been taken to remedy this issue.
As Assemblywoman for the 32nd district, I am asking for your office to immediately research this issue and bring legislation and/or state oversight to these commuter vans. It should not have to take the death of an innocent 8 month old girl for this matter to be resolved before more innocent victims are affected. We are all well aware of the oversight and monitoring that NJ transit uses to ensure the safety of its passengers and the internal controls utilized with their employees. Public safety, in the form of commuter transportation, must be put at the forefront in our agenda to protect and serve the public. Many constituents can testify to the deplorable conditions that many of these commuter vans are in. In addition, there are various commuter van drivers that shouldn’t be legally allowed to operate these vehicles, due to suspended driving privileges and other infractions. Hudson County is one of the biggest transit hubs on the eastern seaboard. Many of our constituents utilize public transportation daily for numerous reasons. As always, it’s imperative that we be proactive, and not reactive, in creating a safe and reliable transit system in the 32nd District.
In closing, I implore that this matter be addressed immediately. I have forwarded a copy of this this letter to Senator Nick Sacco and West New York Mayor Felix Roque. Together, I feel that we can institute immediate changes to this public safety threat. I would request that we do this out of respect for the family and in memory of their daughter. Furthermore, I would request any introduced legislation to bear the name of this child to respect the memory of her passing and demonstrate to her family that we will not allow one more innocent victim to be affected by this public safety threat.
Thank you for taking time to consider my request. If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (201) 282-1729

Carlos Betancourt

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