Pilot program with Mexico comes under fire in court

| December 07, 2012

Federal judges heard oral arguments presented on the cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico Dec. 6. Meanwhile, Mexico has filed an amicus curiae brief over the program in a separate lawsuit.

The three-judge panel for the District of Columbia appeals court heard arguments against the program from the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association and Teamsters. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration presented its defense, which was not available at press time.

OOIDA stated American truckers are required to meet stricter regulations than the program’s participants and Mexico lacks a reliable system for tracking a driver’s safety and medical and substance history.

The Teamsters argued participation is insufficient to meet program requirements of statistical validity and that it is non-compliant with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Additionally, it asserted:

  • The U.S. and Mexico have unequal fitness standards for commercial drivers.
  • Mexico cannot provide simultaneous and comparable access for American trucks because of the nation’s limited availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel.
  • American drivers are required to identify three colors while Mexican drivers have to be able only to identify red.

In the same court, OOIDA filed separate litigation regarding the National Registry of Medical Examiners after the agency’s April 20 final rule established the registry. The association argued the FMCSA is not authorized to permit Mexican drivers to operate in the United States without a current valid medical certificate issued by a registry examiner.

Mexico filed a Nov. 26 friend-of-the-court brief stating OOIDA had no basis to conclude Mexican medical examination standards and procedures are insufficient to assure appropriate safety of operation.

A previous cross-border trucking program ended in March 2009 after Congress terminated funding.

The following month, a federal appeals court dismissed litigation against the program from OOIDA, Teamsters, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Environmental Law and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70. A three-judge panel wrote that the termination made it impossible rule on the program nor could it judge future program that did not yet exist.

  • Pingback: Pilot Program With Mexico In Court?

  • Kevin Bibbins

    keep that Mexcian trash off our roads, if they refuse to drive in our country by our rules & regs then don’t let them drive here
    We got to meet our standards so why are they any drifferent.

  • Rich Jumper

    The Mexican owned trucks being operated in the US should be required to meet the same EPA guidelines of US based operators and the US trucks operated in Mexico should only have to meet the Mexico standards so they can use the Euro 3 diesel used. It must be a level playing field. all around or the Mexican based carriers will have an unfair advantage, because they do not have to purchase the Tier # level units to operate in the US. Which are tens of thousands of dollars higher.

    I don’t see a glass wall running along the Rio Grande to keep the polluted air along the Mexican border from coming into the US. So therefore, if the goal of the US government is to clean up the air quality around the world, we must require the Mexican Government to require their carriers to operate the cleaner trucks within their borders. That is the only way to clean up the air quality globally and financially allow US Carriers to be competitive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.cox.399 Jim Cox

    let the mex run in our country. BUT the stanards need to be the same for canada, u.s, and mexico. why is our goverment allowing lesser standards for mex trucks anyhow????

  • Jodie Haddock

    It will be a bad deal if they come over. You will watch cut throat hauling rates, mexicans will work for nothing. With no network to cross check driving records, how do you know if a mexican hauler hasn’t got 10 DUIs or on dope. Do the people pushing this breach of american jobs want one of these truckers running down the highway next their wife and children in the minivan???No to cross border trucking!!! We american need to keep our trucking jobs!

  • Marty Marsh

    Tougher standards for us and getting tougher all the time, the hand writing is on the wall.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lance.hottrod Lance Hottrod

    From personal experience, I have noticed that a high percentage of Mexican drivers are reckless, and have unsafe trucks. Bad idea to have Mexican trucks running farther up into the US.

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.