Court hears new case against pilot program with Mexico

mexicoJust 18 days after ruling to uphold the program, a federal court heard new arguments May 6 against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the FMCSA returned May 6 to the U.S. District of Columbia appeals court, but before a separate panel of judges presented arguments dealing with both the cross-border program and the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners created last year by FMCSA. The agency will begin requiring interstate CDL holders to have physicals and a medical examiner’s certificate from an examiner in the registry next year.

OOIDA’s arguments this time are that Mexican driver participants in the program are not required — like American drivers — to receive medical certification from a medical examiner approved by the FMCSA.

FMCSA contends it could only apply the Registry requirement to Mexican and Canadian drivers if Congress clearly intends to abrogate previous agreements regarding truckers from the two nations. However, Congress has not indicated such plans, FMCSA says.

The court refused the association’s request to consolidate the Registry litigation with the older case filed by OOIDA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

On April 19, the court rejected the association’s assertions that safety and enforcement standards are lower for program participants than U.S. CDL holders. OOIDA argued this would violate federal pilot program regulations, which require participants to meet safety standards equivalent to non-program participants.

Ten Mexican carriers have participated in the program in its first 18 months. According to FMCSA’s aggregate data:

  • The agency had performed 935 inspections, 583 which were conducted on GCC Transporte.
  • Participants drove 283,279 miles in U.S. border states. Texas led with 163,120 miles and Arizona had the least with 826 miles.
  • Florida led with 11,686 miles of the 49,713 miles driven in non-border states.
  • Texas had the most and least popular border crossings, with 1,230 trips made at Ysleta, but only one at Colombia Solidarity in Laredo.

There’s been no word on when the court will make a ruling. Click here to see Overdrive‘s coverage of the ruling from April 22.

  • James Deboard

    Shut it down,more illegals,more drugs,more trouble!!!

  • Porter M. Corn

    No James! No illegals, no drugs, no trouble period. Trucks in this program and the previous program had none of these. I know the facts don’t fit your opinion, but of the truckers busted at just one interior checkpoint by BP for the above mentioned violations, they’ve all be good ol’ Amerikun truckers thinking they can make a quick buck. The Mexicans know better.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Like all the other frivolous and baseless lawsuits OOIDA, Teamsters and the bogus safety groups have filed, I predict this one too will be denied.

    Besides the issues FMCSA raises, The Certified Medical Examiners requirements are not yet in effect, therefore, the issue is moot.

    OOIDA includes Canada marginally in their lawsuit and a blind man can see they have no desire to disrupt cross border trucking with Canada, only to keep the Mexicans out.

    OOIDA continues to lose members and influence in Washington because of the bigotry and hatred of on one mean little man against Hispanics. When will the membership get wise and demand a change in leadership.

  • No Reform

    These mexicans drive like Maniacs…they do haul Narcotics..they do Hit And Run….we have enuff trouble without these clowns here.

  • No Reform

    Stop the Program today. We need American Drivers employed on roads Americans are Paying for…enuff give aways to mexicans…let Nieto take care of his own Jerks.

  • No Reform

    This is AMERICA…nothing to do with MEXICO….they need to get back over the FENCE…there is Plenty wrong with mexican drivers…courts are filled with cases where they have Killed Americans while driving truck.

  • No Reform

    To suck up to this Mexican Program is Treason.

  • No Reform

    James is Right…to hell with these mexican trucks.

  • No Reform

    Lets get concerned with AMERICAN Truckers…not some clown mexican.

  • Porter M. Corn

    And once again, I was right on the money. OOIDA and Teamsters got their asses handed to them by the DC Court of Appeals! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.