FMCSA announce intent to proceed with Pilot Program

The full text of the FMCSA notice published in the Federal Register can be downloaded HERE

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this morning its intent to move ahead with the Mexican truck pilot program. In a 27-page notice in the Federal Register, the agency also reported that a necessary piece of final paperwork has been submitted to Congress and is expected to be made public any day.

Madeleine Chulumovich, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office, confirmed for Land Line today that Congress now has the IG’s regular audit on eight Section 350 requirements. An additional evaluation demanded in June 2007 via a provision in the Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act is not yet complete. Chulumovich said there was no time frame on that report but that the IG was working “expeditiously” to finish it.

As soon as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s follow-up report to Congress has been approved and the FMSCA tends to any follow-up actions raised by the IG, it’s full speed ahead.

In the announcement notice, officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed that it had received about 2,330 public comments on the program and that “most of the commenters expressed concerns that Mexico-domiciled trucking companies pose a safety risk to the traveling public.”

While the vast majority of the comments were submitted by individuals and were “no more than a few sentences,” the FMCSA notice stated that a number of groups and organizations had submitted detailed comments, including OOIDA, AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the ATA, the Oregon DOT, Public Citizen, PATT, CRASH and 114 members of Congress.

All of those groups, and more, were opposed to the program. However, most of their opinions were the result of spin put forth by select groups

FMCSA cited a few specific comments in support of the program, which came from the San Antonio, TX, Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona.

In the notice published Friday, the FMCSA officials flatly state that they have met those legal requirements “through past rulemakings and other agency actions.”

Mexico Trucker has followed this extensively and we’ve read every document made public by FMCSA as they followed the obstacles thrown in their path, and we are convinced that FMCSA has gone the extra mile in complying with all directives.

So now people, perhaps it’s time we put this behind us and accept the fact it is about to happen. Sit back and monitor the progress and see who is right and whose wrong.

As an industry, we have a helluva lot more pressing problems, that actually can affect our ability to earn a decent living. PATT, CRASH and ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY, and others, who formed an interesting alliance with old adversaries, will return to that adversarial relationship as they try to shove the EOBR’s down our throats and have us restricted to only 8 hours driving time a day. Why can we not get together to oppose these new restrictions in the same manner that the opponents of the Pilot Program, misguided as they are, tried to get the program cancelled.

We need to work together to accomplish something that will benefit the industry as a whole instead of only those with a “suspect” agenda. Something to think about people!