Court Rejects Plea to Halt Mexico Pilot Program

April 19, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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A federal appeals court denied petitions by owner-operators and Teamsters to review the federal pilot program for long-distance trucking across the Mexican border.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Friday morning handed down a blanket dismissal of the bid by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Teamsters union to overturn the pilot.

The groups contended that the program is illegal on a number of grounds. “We disagree and deny their petitions for review,” wrote Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The pilot program grants a limited number of Mexican carriers permission to provide trucking services to the interior of the U.S. provided they meet strict safety and operational requirements.

As of April 7 there were 10 Mexican carriers participating in the program, whose purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulatory regime.

The owner-operator group challenged the program on seven counts, ranging from allowing illegal use of Mexican commercial licenses to violations of drug testing procedures.

“We find none to be persuasive,” Kavanaugh wrote.

The judges also were not persuaded by the Teamsters’ brief, which challenged the program on six counts ranging from its approach to requiring safety decals to the details of its vision test.


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