OOIDA wants to take cross-border program back to court

This week, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Teamsters Union petitioned a District of Columbia appeals court to rehear their case against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico.

Both the Teamsters and OOIDA said in their petitions that the court’s April 19 ruling to uphold the FMCSA program conflicted with previous rulings, with the Teamsters adding that the ruling undercut the National Environmental Policy Act.

The union and OOIDA want the rehearing to be en banc, meaning to be heard  — heard before a nine-judge panel. OOIDA actually presented oral arguments May 6 again against the cross-border program relative to concerns over the soon-to-be-implemented National Registry of Medical Examiners, which, starting next year, will require CDL holders to obtain medical certification from a medical examiner in the FMCSA’s register.

No rulings have been made regarding that litigation, but OOIDA argued that Mexican drivers in the program would not be held to the same standards as U.S. drivers, as they would not be required to be cleared by an FMCSA-certified examiner.

The agency says it could only apply the registry rule to Mexican drivers if Congress intended to abrogate previous agreements regarding truckers with Mexico and Canada, which it has not indicated it plans to do, FMCSA says.