Federal agencies Unions Transportation Trucking

Court backs cross-border trucking pilot program

Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program will continue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on July 26.

In June, the Grain Valley, MO-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters challenged the court’s April 19 decision to strike down the organizations’ arguments against allowing Mexican trucks on U.S. roadways. The court rejected the Teamsters’ contention that the program should be halted because FMCSA does not have enough participants to draw any valid conclusions about the safety of Mexico-based drivers.

The court also issued a ruling against a separate petition for review from OOIDA that claimed Mexico-based program participants are exempted from U.S. medical certification requirements. The court stated that Mexico’s truck driver licensing procedures already incorporate medical fitness testing, meaning a commercial motor vehicle license from the country is “proof of medical fitness.”

The pilot program, launched in 2011 to fulfill a requirement in the North American Free Trade Agreement, is designed to help test whether Mexico-based trucks can operate safely in the United States beyond established border commercial zones.