UPDATED -- The Supreme Court declined to review a bid by the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association to overturn a lower court ruling that upheld the Mexico cross-border trucking program.
OOIDA contended that a federal appeals court erred when it said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could exempt Mexican and Canadian drivers from U.S. medical certification requirements.
Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the agency could exempt the drivers because to include them would violate agreements between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Under those agreements, Mexico and Canada ensure the drivers’ medical fitness as part of their licensing programs, FMCSA said.
In its ruling Monday, the Supreme Court denied review without comment.
This ruling follows a similar decision by the Supreme Court last January in which it declined to review the appeals court’s upholding of the program grounds that its licensing and drug test requirements are not adequate.
The pilot program permits Mexican carriers that have met safety standards set by FMCSA to provide long-distance service to and from the U.S. It is designed to prove that the agency’s standards will ensure safe operation by Mexican carriers.
The program now has nine Mexican carriers operating a total of 17 trucks under permanent authority, and four operating a total of 38 trucks under provisional authority.
OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said the group will assess the situation in the wake of the court’s decision.
“We were optimistic they might look at the issue,” Spencer said. “It’s a serious one. But the Supreme Court decides to either review or not, and they opted not.”
Update includes comment by OOIDA's Todd Spencer