The Texas Department of Public Safety has uncovered startling statistics that have groups further outraged over the recent cross-border agreement.
According to the El Paso Times, in a 4-year time frame (2007-2011), inspectors have found over a million violations in Mexican carriers traveling throughout the U.S. into Texas.
Out of nearly 1.2 million inspections conducted on Mexican trucks in El Paso, there were found to be 1,004,213 violations, some posing such a large risk that it took 31,519 trucks and 625 drivers out of service (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/08/22/mexican-trucks-entering-us-cited-for-1-million-violations-report-says/?test=latestnews). Compare that with Road Scholar Transport who maintains an excellent safety record and has never been cited for a piece of faulty equipment involved in an accident!
The finding came shortly after U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed a cross-border agreement with Mexico that would abolish $2.4 billion worth the retaliatory Mexico placed on U.S. goods back in 2009, lifting 50% of the tariffs 10 days after the signing and the rest once the U.S. grants a Mexican carrier operating authority, with the first long-haul carrier estimated to have access within the next few weeks.
Mexican/U.S. cross-borders shipments amount to $275 billion worth the freight each year via truck, but before the agreement, Mexican trucks were limited to where they could travel, Fox News Latino notes.
Through the agreement, Mexican carriers must abide by certain rules and regulations including the mandatory use of electronic onboard recording devices to monitor their hours of service. But the fact that the U.S. Department of Transportation is paying for these devices via taxpayers’ money in order for them to operate in our country has caused outrage among groups such as the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
Not only that but unlike LaHood, who believes the program will lead to job creation, OOIDA argues that it will actually take away from U.S. jobs, especially those truckers working for small businesses.
Others, such as the Teamsters union, say that the statistics demonstrate the danger of the program and emphasize that “Mexican trucking companies and their fleets are not held to the same stringent safety standards as American carriers,” Fox News Latino continues.
On the other hand, Texas State Rep. Joe Pickett states that “The trucks from Mexico are in line with U.S. industry standards” and that “they are either no worse than U.S. trucks or better in some cases” (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/08/22/mexican-trucks-entering-us-cited-for-1-million-violations-report-says/?test=latestnews).
The American Trucking Associations showed their support towards the agreement as well stating, “Mexican fleets participating in the program will be bound by the same rules and regulations applicable to American carriers, and we are pleased that the agreement allows for U.S. carriers to compete in Mexico.”
Do you agree with State Rep. Joe Pickett’s statement that Mexican trucks “are either no worse than U.S. trucks or better in some cases?” List your comments below!