Cross-border trucking pilot program heads back to court

Though a federal court ruled just three weeks ago in favor of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico, a different panel of judges heard separate oral arguments May 6 against both the cross-border program and the National Registry of Medical Examiners implemented last year by FMCSA.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association argued in the March 15 court date — the ruling of which issued April 19 — that the participant carriers and drivers in the cross-border program are held to a lower standard than American drivers as far as safety and regulations. The court rejected the arguments.

The Registry of Medical Examiners will begin requiring interstate CDL holders to receive medical certification and physicals from examiners certified by FMCSA and listed in the registry. OOIDA’s arguments in the current case are that Mexican drivers in the program are not required to receive medical certification by an FMCSA-approved examiner.

FMCSA says it can only require Mexican and Canadian drivers to receive certification if Congress change or repeal prior agreements with the two countries regarding truck drivers entering the U.S. FMCSA says Congres has not indicated any plans to do so.

In the program’s first 18 months, 10 Mexican carriers have participated, and the agency has performed 935 inspections on their trucks. Participants have driven 283,279 miles in U.S. border states, with Texas leading with 163,120 miles. Arizona had the fewest of border states with 826 miles.

Florida led non-border states with 11,686 miles. Nearly 50,000 miles have been driven in non-border states.

Click here to see CCJ‘s coverage of the previous ruling.