Mexico to Lower Weight Limits Following Driver Protests

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.