Explaining the Cross Border Program to Joe 6 pack American

By | 09/04/2008

MTY40908 006.jpgWhen it comes to the Mexican Cross Border truck program, everyone seems to be trying to get on the bandwagon or use the issue to boost their rankings. It doesn’t seem to matter if they get their facts right. To the contrary, most think it is cute to pass along the misinformation that has been generated by the Unions, self styled “drivers association” who back pedal and double step away from the real issues confronting truckers today. The Mexican truck issue is a non issue.

So, it seems we have yet another one popping up out there in the blogosphere, although you can’t take too seriously those who don’t think enough of their issue to actually host their site on a dedicated server, but choose to use the freebies.

Joe 6 Pack, American is one of these and he’s another angry trucker. Angry at all the wrong things it seems. The author calls himself 2Step a trucker for a number of years like the rest of us. The handle sounds familiar? One of Stevie Sommers disciples perhaps? It’s fun to put a face to a name.

UPDATE 4/11/08  “KERRY RESPONDS

2step

2step wrote today at 5:35 AM, edited today at 5:36 AM

Popcorn… How the hell are ya. I know you from the America’s Trucking Network… We all know your full of shit. Your site is nothing but propaganda… Stay away from my site and keep your trashy trucks on your side of the border… In other words UP YOURS WET BACK!
I deleted your post because your not going to advertise your mexican propaganda on my site..

Editor Note. About what is to be expected from this group. Refuse to acknowledge the truth of the facts because it is in conflict with what they are told to believe. And then the name calling starts. Oh well!

Nice look to the site. It is obvious little effort was made for the aesthetics other than a few clicks here and there. Scrolling text over stationary background image is a little annoying and very difficult to read due to the color contrast of the fonts. All in all, not a bad effort for an amateur.

But to help a fellow blogger and trucker, I feel the need to correct the many errors he made in his piece entitled The Mexican Cross Border Program Catchy title isn’t it.

Here’s the article and our helpful corrections of the facts, by the numbers afterwards.

Facts and Fiction.

Fiction: The Mexican truck pilot project meets all the legal requirements.

“We feel like we have met the requirements,” said John H. Hill, who oversees the program as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (Copley News Service, Aug. 31, 2007.)

Fact: The program breaks at least seven laws. It is illegal.

  1. The law (49 U.S.C. 31315c) says that FMCSA pilot programs can’t go forward unless “The safety measures in the project are designed to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would otherwise be achieved.”The safety measures for Mexican trucks and drivers are lower than the level of safety that U.S. trucks and drivers must achieve. FMCSA has even acknowledged that there are differences between U.S. and Mexican safety laws, including commercial drivers’ license requirements, medical requirements, hours of service requirements and drug-testing procedures. (72 Federal Register notice 46263, Aug. 17, 2007).Mexican drivers don’t lose their commercial drivers licenses if they’re convicted for crimes in their own vehicles, as are U.S. drivers.Mexican drivers do not have mandatory safety training, as do U.S. drivers.Mexican drivers are not required to comply with U.S. hours-of-service laws while operating in Mexico, so a Mexican driver could drive 10 hours in Mexico and then another 11 hours in the U.S.

    There are no certified drug-testing laboratories in Mexico. Mexican drivers do not have to meet U.S. standards for pre-employment drug testing as do U.S. drivers.

  2. The law requires FMCSA to demonstrate that it will provide statistically valid data about how cross-border trucking will work in practice (U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, Public Law 110-28, Section 6901).FMCSA doesn’t even know how many trucks from Mexico will participate in the program (72 Federal Register 31877, June 8, 2007.)FMCSA has never demonstrated how letting a handful of clean, safe Mexican trucks onto U.S. highways will prove scientifically that opening the border to commercial vehicles from Mexico won’t harm highway safety in the long run.
  3. The law (2007 Troop Readiness Act) requires the inspector general to submit a report to Congress “verifying compliance with each of the requirements” before the program can start. One requirement is that the states must be able to inspect Mexican trucks and enforce highway safety laws during the pilot program. According to the Sept. 6, 2007 inspector general report, five states said they are not ready. According to the same report, seven states are not prepared to enforce point-to-point delivery restrictions.
  4. The law (2007 Troop Readiness Act) requires any FMCSA pilot program to include a proper oversight plan. The inspector general report dated Sept. 6 states “FMCSA has not developed and implemented complete, coordinated plans for checking trucks and drivers participating in the demonstration project as they cross the border.”
  5. The law (49 U.S.C. 30112 and 30115) requires motor vehicles entering the United States to display a certificate from a dealer or a manufacturer that the vehicle complies with U.S. safety standards. FMCSA unlawfully says Mexican truck companies can break that law by certifying themselves (72 Federal Register 462755).
  6. The law (2007 Troop Readiness Act) requires the inspector general to verify that FMCSA has enough inspectors to make sure that all commercial vehicles can be inspected at border crossings. The Aug. 6, 2007 inspector general report states that at one high-volume crossing, “physical space and capacity limitations prevented inspections during high-volume holiday periods. This means that Mexican buses granted long-haul operating authority in the United States may not be inspected during busy periods.”
  7. The law forbids federal agencies from spending money without Congress’s permission. The Anti-Deficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(A), states “Making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law.” An officer or employee who breaks the law “shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office.” 31 U.S.C. §§ 1349(a), 1518.
    • In addition, an officer or employee who “knowingly and willfully” violates any of the three provisions cited above “shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.” 31 U.S.C. §§ 1350, 1519.

Fiction: Mexican trucks and truck drivers must meet the same or higher safety standards than U.S. trucks and truck drivers.

  • Trucks from Mexico “are the most vetted, the most scrutinized and the most inspected trucks on American roads today.” (Melissa DeLaney, FMCSA spokeswoman, to McClatchy newspapers, Jan. 3, 2008.)
  • Checks on Mexican companies, vehicles and drivers are identical to, and in some instances more stringent than, those of their U.S. counterparts. (FMCSA press release, September 24, 2007.)

Fact: U.S. trucks and truck drivers face tougher safety standards than trucks and truck drivers from Mexico.

  • U.S. trucks must have antilock brake systems; Mexican trucks do not.
  • U.S. truck drivers must have pre-employment safety training and drug testing from a certified lab; Mexican truck drivers do not.
  • U.S. truck drivers lose their commercial licenses if they’re convicted of a serious traffic violation in their personal vehicle; Mexican truck drivers do not.
  • U.S. truck drivers have to stop driving after 11 hours; Mexican truck drivers can drive for 10 hours in Mexico and then another 11 in the U.S.
  • U.S. truck driver must meet stiffer physical qualifications than Mexican drivers.

Fiction: Every truck will be inspected every time it crosses the border.

“They will inspect every Mexican truck every time it goes across the border, which is more than they do for American trucks,” said the spokesman, Clayton Boyce. (New York Times, Sept. 9, 2007.)

Fact: The trucks will not be inspected every time.

They will receive a cursory glance at a safety decal and drivers may have their drivers’ licenses checked. Both can be falsified. The agency stated (Federal Register, June 5, 2007, p. 31882) that “When crossing the border these trucks will, at a minimum, be checked to verify that the driver is properly licensed and that the vehicle displays a current CVSA inspection decal.”

  1. The safety measure for Mexican trucks is equal to or greater than their American counterparts in a number of ways. In the United States, they are held to a stricter standard and with more oversight than the American and Canadian carriers. This has been proven by government documents available for download on this site.
  2. While it is true that Mexican drivers do not lose their licenses for offenses committed in their personal vehicles, in many cases, the tractor is their personal vehicle, thus, offenses committed would affected their commercial license.
  3. Mexican drivers do have mandatory training prior to receiving their Licencia Federal, as mandated by the SCT , the Mexican ministry that oversees the countries transportation systems. 40 hours of training at a government certified facility is required before application for the LFC.
  4. That is correct. Mexican driver ARE NOT required to comply with US Hours of Service regulations while operating in Mexico, in the same manner as Canadian drivers are not required to comply with US Hours of Service while operating in Canada. Mexican drivers comply with the Hours of Service rules in Mexico and Canadian drivers comply with their countries hours of service rules which are much less stringent and more liberal than those in the US. Most Mexican drivers entering the US do so rested, having began their day from a terminal close to the border. It is a non issue. Logbooks and HOS rules aside, the human body dictates how long a person can drive.
  5. Mexican drivers are required, as a pre-condition to receiving the Licencia Federal, undergo drug testing at a government certified facility by government technicians, many times, at the same time they take their DOT physical which is much tougher than the US requirements. Mexican LFC holders are required to pass the same physical as given to airline pilots in Mexico, and examination that complies with International standards. Furthermore, Mexican drivers are subject to random on the spot drug testing, on the road or in the terminals at the discretion of Federal Highway officers or company officials. Probable cause, as we have it in the US, does not apply in Mexico. On site doctors have the last word.
  6. The FMCSA has demonstrated how it will present scientifically reliable evidence. However, if this program had 1,000 trucks participating, with a Federal DOT inspector riding shotgun in every truck, on every trip, and the program ran for 10 years, with ZERO accidents or incidents, the Teamsters and OOIDA would still denounce the finding as unreliable. And statistically valid evidence of safety and compliance can be obtained by as few as one truck, as demonstrated by one of the Judges on the 9th Circuit during recent oral arguments.
  7. FMCSA doesn’t know how many US trucks will apply for authority tomorrow. This is not a valid argument. When the Mexican carriers apply, the FMCSA will know. It is ridiculous to make a point of this.
  8. FMCSA has complied with all but a couple of technical clauses which have no bearing on the safety of the program. THERE ARE NOT, 5 states nor 7 states not prepared to enforce the law against Mexican carriers, as reported by Inspector General Scovill before Lesly Dorgan’s committee of two ambush of Mary Peters on 3/11 and included in his testimony available for download on this site.
  9. The law (49 U.S.C. 30112 and 30115) requires motor vehicles entering the United States to display a certificate from a dealer or a manufacturer that the vehicle complies with U.S. safety standards. FMCSA unlawfully says Mexican truck companies can break that law by certifying themselves (72 Federal Register 462755). PURE HORSESHIT! The same trucks operating in Mexico and which will enter the US have the required stickers. They come off of the same assembly line as trucks destined for United States markets.
  10. Mexico may not require anti-lock brakes but they have them as they are manufactured on the same assembly lines and to the same specifications as trucks destined for US markets.
  11. Mexican drivers have the stupid little safety films, similar to those stupid little JJ Keller vids we’ve all suffered or slept through. Drug testing in US labs for Cross Border Program Drivers who have also been drug tested in Mexican government certified labs.
  12. Mexican drivers can driver for 8 hours in Mexico and must stop. Mexican trucks have tachographs or electronic recorders to monitor compliance and they are required to carry log books. Sure they could drive 8 hours in Mexico and 11 hours in the US, but they wouldn’t and they don’t. No more than Canadian drivers stay on duty in Canada for 16 hours, cross the border and stay on duty for another 14. If nothing else, the body regulates how long a driver can work. It does for me.
  13. US Truck drivers must meet stiffer qualifications than Mexican drivers? Give me a fucking break! The physical drivers in Mexico undergo is the same one that airline pilots in Mexico and around the world must pass! This is a documented fact! By government doctors in government facilities, not private physicians or clinics.
  14. Trucks will be inspected every time as will the drivers. As a matter of course. drivers licenses are checked for validity and warrants, Passports and travel visas are verified and yes, if it has a current CVSA sticker, and no violations or defects are evident, then it is passed through. And in the case of Texas, to proceed less than a quarter mile to a DPS inspection station staffed with troopers and certified inspectors.

Once again, Mexico Trucker has stepped forward to assist those that have a problem with telling the truth or perhaps don’t know the truth. And I keep going back to something a spokesman for FMCSA said in an interview once, and which continues to hold true.

These are tactics that people use when the facts don’t justify their positions.

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