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OOIDA criticizes proposed plans for US-Mexico cross border program

WASHINTON, D.C. -- Charlie Parfrey, president and COO of Parfrey Trucking Brokerage in Spokane, Wash., has testifie...

WASHINTON, D.C. — Charlie Parfrey, president and COO of Parfrey Trucking Brokerage in Spokane, Wash., has testified before a US Senate committee on behalf of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in opposition to the Bush administration’s proposed cross border pilot program with Mexico.

With 23 years of experience in the trucking industry including 10 years behind the wheel, Parfrey cited a multitude of concerns with the issue, including safety, security, driver verification, drug and alcohol testing, Hours-of-Service, cabotage, inspections and insurance. OOIDA’s Spencer echoed Parfrey’s concerns.

“It is simply abhorrent to think that our government would allow Mexican trucks full access to U.S. highways before all safety, economic and homeland security concerns are completely and appropriately addressed,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “Millions of US taxpayer dollars have been spent, and will continue to be spent, along our southern border, doing what the government of Mexico cannot, or will not do: ensure the safety of the Mexican trucking industry by adopting meaningful, compatible regulations. It seems to me that the Department of Transportation is bending over backwards to accommodate Mexican motor carriers, 1,000 Mexican truckers, and the Mexican government. Yet on matters that would significantly help hundreds of thousands of American truckers and advance safety on our country’s highways, we often hear from DOT officials that the department has limited resources and staff.

“Today, Americans have no more assurances than they did in 2002 when the Congress overwhelmingly told the Bush administration that safety had to be assured before the border with Mexico can be opened. It is clear that there remain too many significant questions, with very few, if any answers, that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that this pilot program is not in the best interest of the American public,” Spencer continued. “We need more than just press releases and briefing sheets to fully understand what DOT has undertaken in this proposal.”

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