DOT paying for electronic onboard recorders in Mexican trucks

March 30, 2011

Washington – Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in March defended the Department of Transportation’s decision to pay for electronic onboard recorders for Mexican trucking companies as part of a proposed cross-border trade agreement.

During a March 10 hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, LaHood said that after the previous cross-border pilot program was canceled in 2009, members of the Senate stressed that metrics be put in place to ensure regulatory compliance by Mexican carriers. In negotiations with Mexico, LaHood said, it became clear that if the United States was going to require EOBRs in vehicles, the United States would have to purchase the technology. “We have to know that safety metrics are in place, ones that will measure the kind of safety that we want,” he said.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) on March 17 sent a letter to DOT saying although he supported use of EOBRs by Mexican carriers, he strongly opposes the agency’s proposal to use U.S. taxpayer money to purchase them.