May 02, 2012
Following two deadly truck crashes and national protests by Mexican truck drivers, the Mexican government is agreeing to tighten inspections and lower maximums allowed weights for double-trailer trucks, reports the Associated Press.Mexico's Communications and Transport Department said in a statement it is decreasing maximum weights by 4.5 tons and restricting double trailers to 15.5 mile runs on secondary roads. Also, all double-trailers will have to be inspected within two months. The department said it will also increase its inspection force by 14% and increase weigh-in scales from 63 to 88.The driver protests were sparked by two deadly truck crashes, both with double trailers, that killed a total of 49 people. Drivers were protesting a rule that bans semis hauling double trailers from Mexico's secondary roads unless the trucking company qualifies for and applies for a "connectivity permit." Truckers say the fact that some double-trailers are allowed on back roads with these permits leads other drivers who don't qualify for permits to do the same. If caught without a permit, they simply pay bribes to corrupt police officials.Prior to these new rules, Mexico allowed trucks on two-lane roads with loads of as much as 80 metric tons and lengths of more than 100 feet, compared to a U.S. restrictions of 80,000 pounds (40 tons) on Interstate highways.