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Truckers Ask for Transparency on Border Program

October 2, 2014

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to be transparent about its findings and conclusions on a failed border crossing program that ended this year.

The United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program was created to assess long-distance trucking across the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a letter to the FMCSA by OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, he listed out their concerns about the validity of data collected during the program. Initially, the FMCSA said that 46 carriers would need to participate in the program for the results to be valid but only managed to get 13 carriers.

“It is the OOIDA’s view that because most of the inspection data collected comes from just a few carriers, the data is biased and does not accurately reflect the safety performance of the trucks in the Pilot much less the broader Mexican truck fleet,” stated Spencer.

The OOIDA was also concerned about the regulation of Mexican fleets related to violations. The inspection data showed that Mexican trucks were not being placed out of service for violations that warranted it and were being cited at a much lower rate.

“This disparity in enforcement action raises safety concerns in general, but especially about the Pilot Program,” stated Spencer.

The OOIDA wrote several questions in the letter to the FMCSA asking what actions they would take going forward. They asked who has authority over violations, if the findings from the program would be released and if there would even be a Pilot Program in the future.

“The data generated by the program clearly shows that the program should not be renewed or made permanent,” said Spencer. “What we would like to know is the agency’s plan going forward and we request that they be transparent about communications with Mexico and analysis of their data, or lack thereof.”

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