Mexican trucks and companies showed a low level of non-compliance to U.S. safety rules and regulations, according to trucking, safety and labor groups.
In March 2011, Barack Obama and Mexican president Felipe Calderon signed a trade deal that will allow Mexican truckers to operate on US roads, while Mexico ends the $2.4 billion tariffs over US products. The tariffs were canceled after Mexicans were allowed on US roads. The deal was closed with Mexico’s agreement to meet the safety and environment regulations of the United States.
However, according to reports, many Mexican Truckers and companies crossing the border had incurred thousands of violations. From August 2012 to August 2013, a trucking company that was identified to use US roads the most number of times was reported to also acquire the most number of violations. The company is GCC Transporte SA de CV, with one truck that was stopped several times. In the inspection report, it was noted that the Mexican truck was halted 18 times with several defects, which are considered as violations to US roads. These violations include brake defects, tire-tread separation, defective or missing axle, inoperative signals, non-working lights, a cracked frame, windshield-wiper defects and oil or grease leaks.
In just one day, which was on July 31 this year, 44 violations were recorded from Servicio de Transporte International y Local SA de CV. Its violations include brake-compressor violation, oil and grease leaks, tire operation issues or leaks and inoperative signals.
As for driver fitness regulations, 99.2% violated these rules, and this indicates that the worst record of US carriers is a percent lower. This driver fitness record mostly included non-English speaking drivers.
Conferring to the cross-border trade agreement, one of the policies Mexican Companies should comply with is that their drivers must know how to read and write in English, so as to be able to comprehend road signs and signals as a part of US safety highway rules. In addition, the ability to speak and write English will enable truck drivers to communicate with highway patrols for official inquiries and fill out regulatory reports.
The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration then issued a three year pilot program to test if Mexican Truckers can operate safely on US roads. “The pilot program is part of FMCSA’s implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cross-border long-haul trucking provisions. This pilot program allows Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate throughout the United States for up to 3 years. United States-domiciled motor carriers would be granted reciprocal rights to operate in Mexico for the same period,” posted by FMCSA.
Opponents of the cross-border pilot program have been exhibiting “ridiculous attempts” to stop the three-year pilot program. The problem was that the pilot program requires 46 companies to operate on the border, and there are only 13 who are participating. In addition, the pilot program should take three years before it can be concluded, and it has only been almost 2 years since the pilot program began.
Appeals had been forwarded to abolish the pilot program, which have all failed. This now brings the US Court of Appeals to a final decision, which is Mexican drivers with CDL can continue to operate on US Roads.