The rest of the story emerges about the El Paso times story we wrote about earlier this week, concerning the thousands of violations reported by Texas DPS inspectors at two commercial crossings in El Paso Texas.
While we have some concerns about the number of violations reported over 4.5 years, the Times story claims 1.2 million inspections were done at the Zaragosa and Bridge of the Americas in El Paso, we could only find 811,574 inspections reported on the FMCSA NAFTA STATISTICS pages.
Some have suggested that the numbers are flawed considering the man hours that would need to be expended to come up with this number of inspections in the time frame indicated. That’s possible but highly improbable considering the methods used and the manpower on site.
Section 350(c) required, among other things, state inspection/weigh stations be established at all commercial crossing along the southern border, to monitor and inspect incoming Mexican trucks, especially those participating in the 2007 cross border program. The defunding of that program by the Obama administration as political payback to the Teamsters, however, did not defund these inspection facilities. Contrary to what opponents of cross border trucking and Mexican trucks would have you believe, 100% of the trucks crossing our southern border are INSPECTED at these facilities. 350(c) mandates that these stations to be in operation during the hours the commercial crossing are open.
In El Paso, The Zaragosa bridge is open Monday – Friday 0600 to Midnight, or 18 hours. On Saturday, they are open from 0800 to 1600 and closed on Sunday.
The Bridge of the Americas hours of operation is Monday – Friday, 0600-1800 or 12 hours. Saturday hours are 0600-1400, closed on Sundays.
The hours the inspection stations where this data was supposedly gleaned from are required under law, to maintain the same schedule.
The Texas DPS commercial vehicle inspectors perform inspections under the CVSA North American Inspection Standards, although Texas being Texas, has been known to put additional, more stringent, some would say “anal” requirements to their inspections.
There are six levels of CVSA inspections, although Levels I-III are pertinent to this discussion.
- LEVEL I North American Standard Inspection
- LEVEL II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection
- LEVEL III Driver/Credential Inspection
- LEVEL IV Special Inspections
- LEVEL V Vehicle-Only Inspection
[pullquote]”The number of violations for the trucks from Mexico is in line with U.S. industry standards.They are either no worse than U.S. trucks and better in some cases.”- Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso[/pullquote]
“This report confirms what we have been saying for years – Mexican trucking companies and their fleets are not held to the same stringent safety standards as American carriers. Until they meet every safety, training and environmental standard that our trucking companies meet, we should not allow these unsafe Mexican trucks to drive freely through our country.”
Unfortunately, Pickett is exhibiting the same cluelessness about the dangers of Mexican trucks as the U.S. Department of Transportation, which wants to open the borders to them in a month or two.
The Teamsters will see about that.
“They are either no worse than U.S. trucks or better in some cases,”