CANACAR and Pharr officials reach tentative agreement on fines

| Thursday, January 22, 2004

Mexican truck drivers and officials of Pharr, TX, have temporarily smoothed over a controversy involving fines for safety violations and bridge toll increases.

The truck companies, represented mainly by the Mexican trucking association Camara Nacional de Carga (CANACAR), say growing fines and increased tolls are cutting into their profits. The group threatened a border protest, but agreed recently to table any action while negotiations are ongoing, according to press accounts.

Truckers say that Texas Department of Public Safety troopers have been issuing too many citations for what they consider minor or first offenses. They often must pay fines immediately, which delays shipments.

The deal worked out calls for a monthly meeting to discuss the situation and try to defuse hostilities. CANACAR will give ID cards to members, which would allow them to defer payment of fines up to 10 days. And Pharr officials would lobby the state Legislature to change the law so carriers would be allowed time to fix safety violations before being fined.