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MassDOT RMV inspectors teamed up with the Brockton police today to cite school transport vehicles for 17 safety violations in an early morning surprise inspection on 99 buses, vans and station wagons carrying youngsters to Brockton elementary schools.

Registry inspectors and police officers spread out to 11 schools as part of the joint "Operation Clean Sweep" venture, the 5th such action involving the Registry and Brockton police. Inspectors cited the drivers for violations including driving without the required 7-D license, an offense that carries a $500 fine. Officers also issued citations for defective equipment such as bald tires and safety violations such as vehicle overloading and not ensuring that children are properly secured in car seats or seat belts.

Repeat offenders are called in for a hearing with RMV officers which could result in the suspension of their 7-D license.

Registrar Rachel Kaprielian said the joint venture should serve as a deterrent to people who would transport children without obeying laws designed to ensure safety.

"We take our responsibility to protect children very seriously and we want parents to know that," said Registrar Kaprielian. "Children are our most precious cargo. Parents can aide our effort by being vigilant and asking tough questions when they hire people to transport their children to school or day care."

Drivers of the so called 7-D vehicles must undergo a criminal background check to apply for a special license. The 7-D vehicles, usually cargo vans and station wagons, must also undergo special inspections twice a year to ensure safety features are working properly.

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