Motor Carrier Safety Administration Proposes Rules for Mexican Trucks Operating in the US
Jun 1, 2001 12:00 PM
The United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed three separate rules addressing safe operation of Mexican trucks in the United States and requirements that they comply with US safety regulations.
According to a timetable outlined at a recent meeting with representatives from the government of Mexico, the United States will permit authorized Mexican carriers to operate throughout the United States before the end of 2001. If adopted, the proposals would:
Establish an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking US Department of Transportation authority to operate only in US municipalities and commercial zones adjacent to Mexico in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Establish an application form and process for Mexican carriers seeking US DOT authority to operate beyond municipalities and commercial zones at the US-Mexico border.
Establish a safety monitoring system and enforcement regime, the Safety Monitoring System and Compliance Initiative for Mexican Motor Carriers Operating in the US, to help determine whether Mexican carriers conducting business anywhere in the United States comply with applicable safety regulations and conduct safe operations.
The first two proposals would establish new application procedures for Mexican motor carriers seeking operating authority, require carriers to provide detailed information about their safety practices, and require carriers to certify compliance with US motor carrier safety regulations. The application is necessary for a carrier to obtain a US DOT number, which will allow them to operate in the United States. Mexican carriers will be subject to the same safety standards that now apply to US and Canadian carriers.
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 authority to operate in the United States. The audit would evaluate a Mexican carrier's safety performance and basic safety management controls. It would review information about the carrier, including records related to driver medical qualifications; hours of service; drug and alcohol testing; and vehicle inspection, maintenance, and repair.
According to the proposed rule, if an audit determines that a carrier does not satisfactorily exercise basic safety management controls, its operating authority would be suspended and it would be required to cease operation in the United States.
The FMCSA also is developing a proposal to establish a comparable safety monitoring system for all new entrant US and Canadian-based carriers as required by the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.
The notices of proposed rulemakings are in the US DOT docket (docket numbers FMCSA-98-3297, FMCSA-98-3298, and FMCSA-98-3299). Written comments should be sent by July 2, 2001, to the US DOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket FMCSA-98-3297, 3298, 3299, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St SW, Washington DC 20590-0001. The proposed rules also are on the Internet and can be viewed at http://dms.dot.gov/.
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