Arizona DOT's Mexican driver training program proves successful in first year

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/7/2018

Last year, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance division sent officers to Mexico to train truck drivers and mechanics. One year later, stats show ADOT’s program yielded relatively few violations over the past 12 months.

In an effort to make Arizona roads safer, ADOT decided to send officers south of the border to teach truckers about U.S. safety regulations. Officers conducted 16 two-day training sessions, with 409 drivers and mechanics attending.

There were more than 5,000 border crossings completed by the drivers who received training. Of those crossings, only 130 minor violations were discovered by inspectors. Trucks were placed out of service only 11 times.

Drivers received training pursuant to Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance guidelines. Topics included how to properly secure a load and how to know when tires and brakes are worn.

“This collaboration with the Mexican trucking industry makes crossing the border safer for everyone,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said in a statement. “It also supports the growth of Arizona’s economy and makes crossing the border more efficient for commercial trucking. The dramatic improvements we have seen in just one year show the commitment of our officers and the trucking community to this important program.”

Drivers who successfully completed the training were able to communicate with inspectors by using the WhatsApp smartphone app. The app was used 118 times to ask inspectors questions and make repairs before approaching the border.

Six more sessions in Mexico are slated for the rest of the year. Of the six sessions, only one is scheduled near the Arizona border. Three programs are scheduled in Mexicali, Baja California, and single sessions are scheduled in Caborca and Hermosillo in the Mexican state of Sonora.

 

 

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