If it seems like the drivers causing mayhem on our roads in Boston are good it, it is because they have lots of practice. Unlike other states, and unlike other crimes, those who kill and injure behind the wheel in Mass. are not only skipping jail time, but they are also getting back their privilege to drive from our own Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).
According to a Boston Herald Story August 26th, the Mass. RMV continues to clear the way for drivers who kill, maim, and cause destruction on our roads to renew their licenses. The Herald attributes the shocking circumstances to lax RMV rules, but lack of convictions for criminal behavior seems to play a part. In the story, the Herald focuses on the aptly named Franklin Speed, Jr. who according to the report killed a woman and her daughter in 2002 after crossing the yellow line in a Roslindale crash. Speed was allowed to get his license back in 2004, just two years after the deaths. The report continues saying that Speed has had multiple driving infractions since 2004. Speed was not convicted of any crimes.
A similar story unfolded this summer on Cape Cod. A man who had been chased by the police in a prior incident again ran according to police and killed a man and injured others at an ice cream stand. In what seems like an affront to all police and first responders trying to enforce the rules of the road, the man convicted of drunk driving in a 2002 accident that ended the life of state police trooper Ellen Engelhardt was given his license back in 2007 after he served two years in prison. His license was again revoked for new, unrelated charges in 2011. The same man again applied for his license even though he is facing vehicular homicide charges in the trooper’s death (she was in a coma for many years following the accident, and recently passed away.)
Motor vehicle crimes are not the only trend in Mass. A driver arrested for a drunken driving incident in which she crashed her Cadillac into a delivery truck, sending it over the guard rail, was found to have three welfare cards on her at the time of her later arraignment according to police. One in her name, two in other names.