State senator introduces legislation to alleviate COVID-19-related closures at MVC
A New Jersey lawmaker says that he has a solution for the constant Motor Vehicle Commission shutdowns.
The MVC office in Bayonne has been closed ever since an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The office will reopen on Thursday following a two-week shutdown.
Delivery driver Howard Wisse says that the shutdowns are not just an inconvenience but also cost him a lot of money.
“Six tickets in two weeks from several different towns,” he says.
The tickets could cost Wisse $500 if he has to pay them all.
“I work six days a week and I only have so much time to do these things.
The tickets are for expired registrations. Wisse was able to take care of his registration last week. But he still has to fit in inspections – something that is difficult with all of the MVC closures.
“I understand it’s my responsibility to get these trucks registered and have them licensed and safe and doing the right thing. But on the other hand, it’s not fair, the system is failing us and the same system is the same one that’s penalizing us. How is that fair?” he asks.
State Sen. Anthony Bucco says that he wants to end these 14-day closures, which he calls unnecessary. He introduced legislation on Monday that will help. He wants to require the MVC to do whatever it can to keep its doors open. And if they can’t, they must provide alternatives on site, like a mobile unit.
“We need help and shouldn’t be getting fined for other people not being able to handle the crisis and handle the number of people doing what I’m doing,” Wisse says.
An MVC spokesperson says their safety protocols, which require a 14-day quarantine for anyone exposed, were developed with state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The spokesperson says MVC employees often work in close quarters, which leads to more exposure, more quarantines and staff shortages.
The office is working to vaccinate all employees, which should limit the closures, according to the spokesperson.