Following the Teamsters March-filed lawsuit against the Department of Transportation over its expansion of the cross-border trucking, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association this week announced it seeks to join the driver union’s litigation.
The Teamsters’ suit seeks to block the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s opening of U.S. authority application process to all Mexican-based carriers, claiming the agency did not have enough data to make necessary safety determinations about Mexican-domiciled carriers.
OOIDA filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit seeking to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of small-business truck operators. “OOIDA can bring a unique practical and legal perspective compared to the other petitioners regarding the ability of Mexico-domiciled trucking companies to operate safely on U.S. highways,” the association wrote in its announcement. “Additionally, the motion points out that the economic interests of small-business truck drivers differs from the interests represented by the other petitioners.”
OOIDA’s and the Teamsters’ claims about the agency’s data quality echo those made by the DOT Inspector General’s office, who issued a report in December concluding FMCSA’s data was insufficient.
The agency’s three-year cross-border pilot program with Mexico, which was intended to give the agency three years of safety data to make determinations about Mexican carrier safety, suffered from low participation numbers. That, combined with a lack of quality inspection data, caused the program to yield too little data, both in quantity and quality, the OIG concluded.