The council tabled a resolution Thursday that would implement a policy concerning the use of township vehicles after members questioned whether it is appropriate to allow employees to continue driving them with 10 points on their licenses.
According to the potential new policy, an employee must sign a form certifying that he or she is qualified to operate a vehicle. That form includes attesting to not having more than 10 points on his or her driver's license.
But councilmen Matthew Moench and Filipe Pedroso said they believe that number is simply too high.
"That's a high point allotment," Moench said. "I think if you already have that many, you should not be given a car."
"If you get a ticket in municipal court, you usually pay first and get no points, or sometimes they knock down the amount," he added. "To get 10 points, you have to work really hard."
Instead, Moench said, he believes the limit should be five points on the license.
"If they get really stuck on one bad speeding ticket, at least they have some leeway," he said.
Township administrator James Naples said the township was trying to be conservative in its estimate. If a person has 10 points, he said, there are no legal restrictions on driving.
According to the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, a license is suspended once a person gets 12 points.
"So we could be restricting someone's livelihood when legally they can still drive," Naples said.
But Pedroso said he also believes allowing someone to drive a taxpayer-funded township vehicle with 10 points on a license could be a liability.
"Most truck drivers are fired if they get that many," he said. "We don't want someone driving a township car with that many points."
Council members also questioned how many employees this will affect if the resolution is changed to only allow for up to five points on a license when needing to drive a township vehicle. They said they think this is important information to have before changing the proposed policy.
"I would be curious to know, if we go to five, how many people can't drive the vehicles," said councilwoman Christine Henderson Rose.
"I think we should have the policy in general," Moench added. "And maybe if a person is between five and 10, there could be some kind of evaluation to determine why they got those points."
According to Naples, there are vehicles assigned to departments, namely engineering and other similar ones that require inspectors, and they have reduced the fleet in the past. Currently, he said, they have 19 cars, mostly used for inspectors and code officials, while one is reserved for administration and finance.
But what do you think, Bridgewater? Is 10 points too many to be allowed to drive a taxpayer-funded vehicle?
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