This year the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it will open the southern U.S. border to Mexican interstate trucking companies. Unfortunately, in 2005 the DOT Inspector General found that there is inadequate border safety facilities, that many of these Mexican trucking companies failed to have accurate data about Mexican trucks and drivers, that they failed to certify random drug and alcohol testing already required of U.S. truck drivers.
Another concern is that the Mexican truck drivers ignore drive time limits and will suffer from driver fatigue. Fatigue is a recognized a widespread industry problem that contributes to truck-related crashes and is a major safety concern for truck drivers entering the U.S. John Lannen, the executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition stated “I am deeply troubled that DOT is looking the other way on the problem of fatigued and sleep-deprived Mexican truck drivers”. According to Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.). “The U.S. DOT knows that more than 15 percent of Mexican truck drivers entering the U.S. don’t even have the paper logbooks that are currently required to show the amount of working, driving, and rest time. We have no proof that Mexican drivers will not continue to flout U.S. limits on driving time and fail to keep proper time records,”
I have represented families in Tennessee and throughout the United States that have lost loved ones or been tragically injured in trucking accidents. It is imperative that we keep are highways safe and this latest government move is not a step in the right direction. We have plenty of good drivers in this Country and we do not need to lower the bar.