Mexican Trucks Demonstration Project Moves Ahead

Undeterred by the Teamsters' opposition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is moving ahead with plans to start a demonstration project to allow Mexican-domiciled carriers greater access to the United States beyond current commercial zones. FMCSA announced additional details about the start of the project June 8 and promised to carefully consider all comments received before deciding whether to begin. Comments are due by June 28. The comments must be identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FMCSA-2007-28055 and may be submitted via http://dms.dot.gov/ beginning June 18; in the interim, DOT is relocating the computers that host the electronic dockets.

FMCSA said about a month ago that it would initiate the project, under which as many as 100 Mexican carriers will be able to operate throughout the United States for one year and the same number of U.S. carriers will have equivalent access in Mexico for the same period. Participating Mexican carriers and drivers must comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, and the safety performance of the carriers "will be tracked closely by FMCSA and its State partners, a joint U.S.-Mexico monitoring group, and an evaluation panel independent of the Department of Transportation," FMCSA said.

Data collected during this trial will be evaluated before the agency decides whether to move further to implement the wider access called for by NAFTA's trucking provisions.

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