Friday, September 27, 2013

Teamsters say feds ignore dangerous Mexican trucks

The federal government is looking the other way at Mexican trucks that are serial violators of U.S. safety laws, but the Teamsters aren't.

The Teamsters have long fought hard against opening the border to dangerous Mexican trucks. Today in the press the Teamsters blasted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for its lax oversight of the pilot program to let Mexican trucks travel beyond the border zone.

Bloomberg today reported on the Teamsters complaint that the federal government broke its own rules by
letting one company keep operating over the border after its safety rating was lowered. FMCSA also ignored other Mexican carriers' ties to dangerous operators.

Here's why: The FMCSA needs enough participants in the pilot program to arrive at statistically valid conclusions about the impact of Mexican trucks on U.S. highway safety. Since regulators can't find enough safe Mexican carriers -- as the Teamsters predicted -- they're ignoring egregious safety violations.

Bloomberg reported:
  • Mexican companies allowed into the U.S. under the latest agreement have been cited for thousands of violations, records show.
  • One truck belonging to GCC Transporte SA de CV, the company that’s crossed the border most often, was stopped for violations 18 times between August 2012 and August 2013. It was found to have defective or missing axle parts, brake defects, a cracked frame, inoperative signals, oil and grease leaks, non-working lights, windshield-wiper defects and a tire-tread separation.
  • Servicio de Transporte Internacional y Local SA de CV, the Mexican company that’s beeninspected the most, was cited for 44 violations on a single day -- July 31, 2013. Citations included tire separations and leaks, oil and grease leaks, inoperative signals and a brake-compressor violation. Its driver-fitness score of 99.2 percent indicates fewer than 1 percent of U.S. carriers have worse records. Almost all of the violations are for drivers who aren’t fluent in English, according to government records.
Read the whole horrifying story here.