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Posted Friday, July 10th, 2020

(Statement from Sen. Anthony Bucco)

Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) sent a letter (click here) to Governor Phil Murphy today calling for a plan to help Randolph Twp. and other New Jersey communities that have been overwhelmed by a crush of people who are seeking to conduct business at newly reopened New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agencies.

Bucco noted that he made a request more than two months ago of MVC Chief Sue Fulton asking for an overview of the Commission’s plan to avoid the chaos that’s now occurring at MVC agencies across New Jersey. He said he has not received a response.

photo shows line outside at MVC office in Randolph

Line this week outside MVC office in Randolph

Full text of the letter:

July 8, 2020

Dear Governor Murphy,

More than two months ago, I wrote to New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Sue Fulton warning of the flood of people that was sure to overwhelm MVC agencies upon reopening, offering suggested fixes, and requesting an overview of the MVC’s plan for a smooth reopening.

I was disappointed to have never received the courtesy of a response or the plan that was requested. I had hoped that failure was just an oversight as leaders at the MVC were so engrossed in developing a reopening strategy that they simply forgot to respond. As we witnessed yesterday, with chaos at MVC agencies spilling out onto the sidewalks, streets, and highways of host communities, it has become clear that no comprehensive plan was provided because none was produced.

That lack of an effective reopening strategy was apparent yesterday at our local MVC agency in Randolph. Hundreds of people were lined up outside, on foot and in cars, leading to a traffic jam of cars that extended some distance from the agency onto Route 10. We have been warned by local law enforcement that this represents a clear traffic hazard.

This morning, the situation at the Randolph MVC is not any better. At least 120 people were waiting in line by 3:30 a.m., with more than 300 queued up by 7:45 a.m. The Randolph Township Police Department has advised, again, that there is no New Jersey State Police presence to assist with traffic control around the agency or on Route 10.

The same situation is playing out at MVC agencies across New Jersey. In some places the crowding was so bad that local police were forced to cut the lines of and send people home. In other places, fights and violence have been reported as frustrated drivers have waited in the July heat, unsure if they would reach the inside of the agency to receive the services they require.

Since I received no response from Chief Fulton in May when I first asked, I am now asking you directly, Governor: What’s the plan?

To start, I request that you provide immediate State Police support to manage traffic and crowds around MVC agencies across New Jersey, including in Randolph. Local communities should not be forced to divert resources to compensate for your administration’s failure to plan effectively.

I also believe you should extend all expiring or expired licenses, registrations, and inspections by several months, which could help reduce the flood of people who are worried their documents will expire through no fault of their own.

This time, I expect, and New Jerseyans deserve, a response.

Sincerely,

Senator Anthony M. Bucco
25th Legislative District