Mexican trucking plan faces roadblock As House Passes Spending Bill


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The House overwhelmingly passed a bill yesterday that would delay and make substantial changes to a Bush administration program to test the ability of Mexican truck drivers to operate safely in the United States.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, who supported the measure, warned that if the administration is allowed to go forward with its plan, “We're going to have a major accident somewhere and the people in America will say, 'How did this happen?' ”

The legislation sponsored by Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., won approval 411-3 in the House but faces uncertain prospects in the Senate.

The administration plans to open the border to unlimited travel by Mexican trucks under a one-year demonstration project that could start as early as July 15.

Boyda's bill would delay the project by requiring that it comply with a host of additional requirements. These include developing a statistically valid pilot program to test the impact of the trucks, public disclosure of details of the program, and increased scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general.

The bill also requires Mexican truck drivers to be able to read and speak English in one of several provisions authored by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine.
OOIDA Applauds Passing Of "Safe American Roads Act of 2007" Bill

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is applauding the passage of the “Safe American Roads Act of 2007” bill, which aims to limit implementation of a pilot project allowing Mexican trucks to operate in the US.

The cross-border trucking program would allow free reign of American roads to 100 Mexican carriers. The bill, which OOIDA says is designed to “expose faulty, reckless gaps in an impending cross-border program” was passed by the US House of Representatives by a vote of 411-3.

"This bill will inject some sanity into a program that still has far too many questions that have not been answered," said OOIDA executive vice-president, Todd Spencer. "The DoT has provided nothing but rhetoric when asked exactly how it will implement this program."

OOIDA has been critical of the cross-border program since day one, despite claims by DoT that Mexican carriers operating in the US will be subjected to the same safety standards US carriers are held to. The association, representing owner/operators in both the US and Canada, feels US borders should not be opened to Mexican trucks until their safety systems are completely compatible with those in the US.

"Today's successful vote is credited to our members and the public for speaking up to their representatives," added Spencer. "They know a sham when they see it."

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