The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has lost its bid to have a court declare the cross-border trucking pilot program illegal.

OOIDA had been trying to revive a federal appeals court review of the cross-border demonstration project. The issue has been before the court since 2007, but when Congress cut off funding for the project, several parties to the suit, including the Teamsters and the Sierra Club, told the court that the issue was moot and no decision was needed.

The owner-operator group, however, told the court that the question of the lawfulness of the program is still relevant and asked for a ruling.

OOIDA contends the trucking pilot program had extended illegal, de facto exemptions to safety laws while allowing Mexico-based trucking companies and truck drivers to operate on highways throughout the United States.

Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the association's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation in connection with the cross border pilot program, saying it was moot because Congress recently ended the program.

OOIDA officials expressed disappointment in the ruling.

"Our hope had been the court would still rule on the merits of arguments and evidence showing the pilot program was in direct violation of U.S. laws and regulations," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

"However, we are confident that Congress will continue to put the American public's safety and well-being above the economic interests of multi-national corporations. Republicans and Democrats alike have voted during the last couple of years to uphold those values and they should continue to do so."