A pilot program designed to allow Mexican truck onto U.S. roads is gaining almost no interest
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/26/2012 -- The lack of truckers signing up to take part in the long-haul operation is causing auditors to be concerned that there is no way to complete the mandated study of the program’s safety.
Six companies have signed up to the program, most of whom have a single truck fleet. 24 companies remain under review, and since July, less than 100 long-haul trips into the U.S. have been carried out.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector states that there will not be enough data to determine the possible threat posed by threat to U.S. highways.
The fear coming into the considered project was that Mexican truckers would be taking away from American jobs. However, with such a low turnout, that concern seems almost comical. Nevertheless, opponents are attributing lack of participation to political and bureaucratic impediment, trade imbalance, and reluctance by Mexican companies to partake in what is merely a temporary program. Opponents remain concerned the overall program will affect American trucking jobs.
They are equally concerned that foreign truckers will not be held to the same high standards as domestic couriers.
“The Inspector General’s report pretty much has confirmed everything that our organization has contended since Day One," said Todd Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has applied a "double standard" to Mexican operations, he said.
FMCSA auditor reports allow Mexican drivers to respond in either English or Spanish to standard test questions. While others were unable to explain road signs. One FMCSA auditor did not seek to explain a series of incomplete drug and alcohol tests.
The FMCSA has said it has taken steps to rectify such problems.
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