Federal Update
Cross-border failed.
How many ways do we have to say it?

By Jami Jones, managing editor

Give it up, FMCSA. Your insistence that the cross-border pilot program was a success and now your persistence in opening up the border is just pathetic.

Reality is, you fought the fight and you lost. It’s really that simple. The cross-border pilot program offering long-haul opportunities for Mexico-based motor carriers was a bust – even though you’re insisting it wasn’t.

It was the party no one came to. There were only 15 motor carriers that participated. Far less than the 46 you were looking for. And of the 15, only two showed up for a little bit. They mainly continued their commercial zone ways, venturing out beyond on a rare occasion.

But let’s back up.

It’s not like you didn’t try, FMCSA. You rolled out the red carpet. You even went to Mexico trying to gin up participation. Remember your recruiting trips to Tijuana? I want to embellish and claim there were some wild times, but that would be a complete guess on my part and overreaching. Suffice it to say, you went on their home turf and did all you could to get them to go truckin’ long haul in the promised land.

Those recruiting trips to Mexico didn’t last long, either. In fact, FMCSA, your trips into Mexico didn’t meet requirements.

Half of all the pre-authority safety audits were to be conducted on-site, in Mexico. That didn’t happen. It was too dangerous then and it’s even worse now. U.S. State Department Travel warnings and restrictions on government employees helped put an end to those.

So, if it’s too dangerous for a government entourage to go to Mexico to conduct audits, what U.S. trucker is going to go down there willingly, unarmed and unprotected? This whole cross-border song and dance is supposed to run both ways.

Instead of accepting the attendance and participation in your pilot program party for what it was, you decided to pretend like enterprise carriers were a part of it. That’s like pretending that the “cool kids” showed up at your party. Problem is, they aren’t really Mexico-based motor carriers. They are U.S. companies with 55 percent Mexico ownership. That’s a very, very different creature.

All of the lame justifications and the insistence to move forward is just needy and desperate, FMCSA. Face it. Your party bombed. This move to keep the party rolling is just insane. It’s cowardly when paired up with your mission to improve highway safety.

This move is simply inviting the unproven motor carriers to come on over. You know the type. They are like the kids who trash your house and leave you with the mess. How many lives will be lost because of this irresponsible move in opening the border? Your guess is as good as mine, since the pilot program party proved nothing.

Quit acting like the pimple-faced teenager sitting there in the ruins of the party that never was. Instead of continuing with this bad decision and opening the border, it’s really high time for you to quit cowering to economic pressure, clean up your paperwork, and move on and accept that it really should be over. All you’re doing is selling out safety on our roads with this delusional façade you’ve created to justify opening the border. LL