Fuel Smarts

Mexico Rule Signals What’s to Come for New U.S. Truckers

May 02, 2001

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Mexican trucking companies that want to do business in the U.S. will be required to prove they understand U.S. safety rules. That is a higher standard than new American trucking companies have to meet – but not for much longer.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working on rules that would require American trucking operations to, in effect, pass an entrance exam similar to the one proposed for their Mexican counterparts.
The proposal, expected to be issued in June, is likely to contain features of the proposal issued this week for Mexican truck and bus operators.
One key feature is a requirement that all new entrants undergo a safety audit within 18 months of obtaining a certificate. The certificate will be a conditional one – it can be suspended or revoked, depending on the outcome of the audit.
In addition, applicants will have to answer questions designed to test their understanding of safety rules. They also could be required to certify that they are in compliance with the rules covering driver qualifications, hours of service, drug and alcohol testing, vehicle condition, accident monitoring and hazmat transport.
These rules were ordered up by Congress in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The idea was promoted during debate on that bill by Rita Bontz of the Independent Truckers and Drivers Assn., among others.

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