The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed three separate rules to address the safe operation of trucks owned by Mexican carriers once they are permitted to operate throughout the U.S. Under a timetable agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico, those trucks will start rolling stateside by year's end.
If adopted, the proposals would:
Establish an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking U.S. DOT authority to operate only in U.S. municipalities and commercial zones adjacent to Mexico in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Establish an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking U.S. DOT authority to operate beyond municipalities and commercial zones at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Establish a safety-monitoring system and enforcement regime (the “Safety Monitoring System and Compliance Initiative for Mexican Motor Carriers Operating in the U.S.”) to help determine whether Mexican carriers conducting business anywhere in the U.S. comply with applicable safety regulations and conduct safe operations.
The first two proposals would create new procedures for Mexican motor carriers seeking operating authority and require those carriers to provide detailed information about their safety practices including whether they comply with U.S. motor carrier safety regulations.
The third proposal would require — as a condition of registration — that all Mexican new-entrant carriers undergo at least one satisfactory safety audit within 18 months of receiving U.S. operating authority.
FMCSA said this audit would evaluate a Mexican carrier's safety performance and basic safety management controls. The audit would include reviewing records related to driver medical qualifications, driver hours of service, drug and alcohol testing, and vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair.
According to Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, “These rulemakings will help ensure that all Mexican trucks and drivers entering the U.S. will be subject to the same safety standards that apply to U.S. and Canadian carriers.”