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U.S. rolls out rules for Mexicans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed changes that would finally allow Mexican trucks to operate on its highways.First off, the FMCSA calls for t...


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed changes that would finally allow Mexican trucks to operate on its highways.

First off, the FMCSA calls for the establishing of a new safety monitoring system and enforcement regime. That program, to be called the Safety Monitoring System and Compliance Initiative for Mexican Motor Carriers Operating in the U.S., would help determine whether Mexican carriers conducting business in the U.S. comply with applicable safety regulations and conduct safe operations.

The FMCSA calls also for the establishing of an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) authority to operate in U.S. municipalities and commercial zones adjacent to Mexico in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California only.

The third over-riding proposal calls for the set up of an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking DOT authority to operate beyond municipalities and commercial zones at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican fleets seeking operating authority would be required to provide information about their safety practices, and require carriers to certify compliance with U.S. motor carrier safety regulations.

An application would be necessary for a Mexican carrier to obtain a DOT number, that number would allow that company to operate in the U.S. As the FMCSA makes plain: Mexican carriers will be subject to the same safety standards as U.S. and Canadian carriers.

An important third rule would require, as a condition of registration, that all Mexican new entrant carriers undergo at least one satisfactory safety audit within 18 months of receiving authority to operate in the U.S.

The safety audit would evaluate a Mexican carrier’s safety performance and basic safety management controls, the agency says. It adds that it would accomplish this by reviewing information about the carrier, including records related to driver medical qualifications, driver hours of service, drug and alcohol testing, and vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair.

According to the proposed rule, if an audit determines that a carrier does not satisfactorily exercise basic safety management controls, its operating authority would be suspended and it would be required to cease operation in the U.S.

Canada fits into this changing of the rulebook. The FMCSA, it explains, is also developing a comparable safety monitoring system for all new entrants to the industry, whether they be U.S.-based or Canada-based carriers. n


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