The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced today that is has filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to intervene in a cross-border trucking lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  

The existing lawsuit was filed last month by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters along with the safety-advocacy groups, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition, as a means to overturn “the permanent operating authority granted to Mexico-domiciled trucking companies to conduct long-haul trucking services throughout the United States,” according to OOIDA.

At the time of that filing, the Teamsters union said their lawsuit “contends that the DOT's final report to Congress violated the Administrative Procedures Act because its conclusion— that Mexico-domiciled carriers operate at a level of safety equal to or greater than U.S. and Canadian carriers— is arbitrary and capricious in light of the admitted lack of significant data from a pilot program Congress required DOT to conduct.”  

In its petition, the association states that as “the representative of small-business truck drivers, OOIDA can bring a unique practical and legal perspective compared to the other petitioners regarding the ability of Mexico-domiciled trucking companies to operate safely on U.S. highways."

The association also remarked that its motion points out that "the economic interests of small-business truck drivers differs from the interests represented by the other petitioners.”

It is OOIDA’s strongly held contention that the three-year cross-border pilot program conducted by DOT “did not generate enough data to reach an informed conclusion about whether the border should be opened” and that the border “should not be opened unless and until Mexico establishes equivalent regulatory trucking standards to that of the United States and proves that its trucking industry can fully comply with U.S. safety regulations.”

The association had questioned the evaluation and validity of the information collected during the pilot program in a letter it sent back in October to Federal Motor Carrier Administrator Scott Darling.