Border Truck Safety Much Improved, DOT's Inspector General Says

The Department of Transportation's inspector general testified March 13 before a U.S. House committee that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made significant progress toward ensuring the safety of Mexican trucks allowed into the United States. Calvin L. Scovel III's testimony is important rebuttal evidence against a chorus of groups opposing next month's FMCSA pilot program to allow greater access onto U.S. roads.

Scovel said FMCSA has increased the number of border enforcement personnel from 13 in 1998 to 254 in 2006, with 128 inspectors included in the latter total. The percentage of Mexican trucks taken out of service after inspection has dropped from 44 percent in FY1997 to 20 percent in FY2005, he added.

Scovel also said FMCSA and the states have made significant progress in enabling the states to take effective enforcement action against Mexican motor carriers, and the federal agency also has taken action to ensure weighing scales at the 10 highest-volume crossings are fully operational. In 2005, he'd reported scales were not working at four Texas crossings.

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