Protesters become plaintiffs against Mexican border pilot program


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Truckers join lawsuit against DOT
(Grain Valley, MO, April 24, 2007) – Safety and security concerns raised by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have evolved into full litigation in a fight against the U.S. Department of Transportation. Along with a group of five other organizations, OOIDA contends the DOT has violated federal laws regarding public notice and comment required before opening the border to Mexico-based trucking companies.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, states “We have strongly opposed this program since first introduced, and in particular, the secretive nature in which it has been presented by the DOT.”

OOIDA joined the Teamsters, Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Law Foundation and Teamsters Local No. 70 in Oakland, CA. in filing a lawsuit late Monday in California asking the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to provide details to the public, and allow the opportunity for debate. So far, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has issued press releases announcing the program going forward and updates on the number of carriers inspected. However, no other relevant details have been provided. And despite objections raised in Congress, the Bush administration has insisted on pushing the program through without addressing how issues such as safety and security will be handled.

“The DOT has still not answered questions about verification of drivers’ records, drug and alcohol testing, hours of service, cabotage, inspections and insurance. They make general statements about audits of Mexican motor carriers, but have shown nothing that should make the American public feel confident that they have fulfilled all the obligations necessary before moving forward,” added Spencer.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, MO, area. The Association currently has more than 152,000 members from all 50 states and Canada.


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