Mexico’s numbers still not confirmed from Roadcheck 2006

| 4/20/2007

North America’s largest annual inspection blitz for commercial vehicles is scheduled for June 5, 6 and 7, but the big question is whether Mexico will participate this year – not to mention the question of what went on south of the border last year.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual North American Roadcheck program involves about 10,000 state, provincial and federal officers, and is conducted at checkpoints and roadside stops throughout North America.

Mexico reportedly participated last year, but CVSA’s statistics were solely based on inspections conducted in the U.S. and Canada.

Stephen Keppler, CVSA director of policy and programs, told Land Line Magazine that Mexico did participate in 2006, but Mexico’s data was neither immediately available, nor published in a timely fashion.

Keppler said he has scheduled conference calls with federal Mexico officials to gauge their participation this year – a federal pilot program could have the U.S. opening its border to 100 Mexican motor carriers by the end of May. The Roadcheck program is voluntary for CVSA members, he said.

“We realize this is a hot topic this year, so we want to make sure we can try and firm up their commitment as far ahead of time as possible,” Keppler said. “We are hoping they will choose to participate.”

Keppler explained that the system in the U.S. involves participation by state and federal officials. In Canada, provincial officials make the decisions. But Mexico’s participation, he said, is at the sole discretion of its federal government.

In Roadcheck 2006, CVSA inspectors in Canada and the U.S. conducted 60,357 truck and bus inspections in 72 hours, according to CVSA.

Inspectors placed 5.6 percent of those drivers out of service, up from 4.4 percent in 2005. More than 57 percent of the cases where truckers were put out of service were because of hours-of-service violations, CVSA officials stated in a report.

– By David Tanner, staff writer