More criticism comes for Mexican truck program

| 2/26/2007

Just days after it was announced, more groups weighed in with heavy criticism of the U.S. Department of Transportation's pilot program that will allow Mexican trucks further into the U.S. than ever before.

According to The Washington Post, Debbie Hersman, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, questioned how the United States could afford to send inspectors to Mexico when only a small portion of U.S. trucks are inspected each year.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said that while Congress directed that states adopt laws on trucks with international shipments, few have done it and not a single state enforces these laws. He went on to say that state law enforcement officers have not been trained on what to enforce and how to assure compliance with U.S. law.

Joan Claybrook, president of safety advocacy group Public Citizen, hit on the hours of service compliance angle. She said in a statement that even if inspections do happen, they'll be meaningless because inspectors will have "no way of telling how many hours these (Mexican) truck drivers have been driving before they get to the U.S."

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation is planning a hearing on March 8 to determine whether the program meets safety requirements.