- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Satellite tracking mandated for Mexican trucks

Federal officials, bowing to safety concerns over Mexican trucks on U.S. highways, announced last week trucks participating in the ongoing cross-border demonstration project will be required to submit to monitoring by a satellite-based vehicle tracking system – a move one critic dismissed as an “ornament” that “fails to address the real issues of driver safety.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a statement Thursday saying the tracking plan jointly developed by FMCSA and Mexico’s Secretaria de Communicaciones y Transportes applies to both U.S. and Mexican trucks in the program.

“This will give us the ability to monitor every vehicle from Mexico and ensure all companies are following our strict safety requirements, including those governing hours of service and sabotage,” said John Hill, FMCSA administrator.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, isn’t buying FMCSA’s claims of enhanced safety.

“This really accomplishes nothing. It’s like putting earrings on a pig,” he told WND.

“The FMCSA just proceeds with the program, placing more and more ornaments on it, but fails to address the real issues of driver safety.”

Spencer pointed to the last line of the FMCSA statement to make his point.

“Vehicles will be tracked by vehicle number and company – no driver information will be collected or tracked,” it reads.

“The issues are driver issues. There are no real hours of service regulations in Mexico, there is no effective way of checking driving or criminal records, and the Mexican CDL (commercial driver’s license) does not measure up to the U.S. license,” said Spencer.

“Tracking trucks and trailers tells us nothing about the drivers. The net effect of this announcement on safety is zero.”

The FMCSA initiative comes despite efforts in Congress to completely halt the Mexican truck demonstration program through identical amendments in House and Senate versions of the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. That bill (HR3074/S1789) is currently awaiting conference committee action but may not go into effect until November or later.

“We think the amendments will remain in the final bill,” Barry Piatt, spokesman for Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., sponsor of the Senate amendment, told WND. But, he added, the demonstration program could continue until the bill becomes law.

“The fact that they continue this program despite the wishes of Congress is in line with the arrogant approach they have taken all along. Under the defunding of a pilot program those carriers that are or will be approved will need to stop at that point,” said Piatt.

“The FMCSA has maintained all along that they do not have to manage a pilot program. The administration is simply thumbing its nose at the wishes of Congress and those concerned about true safety on American roads,” Spencer told WND.

To date, four Mexican carriers have been authorized to operate in the U.S., and 2 U.S. carriers have been authorized to operate in Mexico.

Related offers:

Get a first-edition copy of Jerome Corsi’s “The Late Great USA” autographed for only $19.95 today

Get “Taking America Back,” Joseph Farah’s manifesto for sovereignty, self-reliance and moral renewal

Get Tom Tancredo’s new book, “In Mortal Danger,” from the people who published it – WND Books

National Suicide: How the government’s immigration policies are destroying America

Previous stories:

‘NAFTA Superhighway stops here,’ says Okla. senator

Mexican official urges North American Union

Senate votes to kill Mexican truck demo

Senator moves to block Mexican trucks

NAFTA Superhighway plans advance south

1st Mexican truck rolls across border under cover of darkness

Mexican trucks approved for long-haul trips in U.S.

Mexican rigs hitting U.S. pavement today

Snow not buying Hoffa’s ‘disaster’ description

Hoffa: Mexican trucks are disaster for U.S.

San Antonio developing NAFTA inland port

Jailed border agents case tied to Mexican trucks

Mexican rigs ready to roll

114 congressmen: Why is DOT ignoring law?

White House presses Senate to allow Mexican trucks

Truckers demand feds come clean on Mexican rigs

Mexico announces date for trucks to roll in U.S.

Feds stonewall on Mexican trucks

Now U.S. trucks to cruise Mexico

Teamsters sue to halt Mexican truckers

Truckers with criminal record could access U.S.

Mexican trucks to enter U.S. in 15 seconds

Angry truckers to encircle D.C. with ‘blockade’

Mexican truck stampede to hit U.S.!

Congressman moves to block Mexican trucks

Roadblocks for Mexican trucks in U.S.

It’s official: Mexican trucks coming

Mexican truckers to hit U.S. roadways next year

NAFTA superhighway to mean Mexican drivers, say Teamsters

More evidence Mexican trucks coming to U.S.

Docs reveal plan for Mexican trucks in U.S.

Michael Howe is a free-lance writer who has covered the trucking industry for several magazines. He resides in the Denver area where he serves on the faculty of Morgan Community College.