Same Song, Second Verse

May 14, 2001
Congressmen Continue to Complain About Mexican Trucks.

US Representatives Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and Jim Oberstar (D-MN) continue to express concern about Mexican trucks freely entering the United States. The congressmen responded to a report from the Inspector General of the US Department of Transportation that calls for additional inspectors and inspection facilities.

"After reviewing the IG's report, I remain concerned that the safety of US highways and towns will be compromised by unsafe Mexican trucks if the border is opened in January 2002," said Hollings. "It is clear that we do not have the ability to monitor and assure the safety compliance of Mexican motor carriers. In fact, the report states that there are no permanent inspection facilities in Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico, and that Mexican trucks are put out of service for safety defects 36 percent of the time. Opening the border would allow these trucks to travel to any city or town in the United States, and in light of these safety statistics, that is simply unacceptable."

In February, Oberstar and Hollings requested the truck safety study in response to the Bush Administration’s announcement that it would open the border to Mexican trucks on January 1, 2002.

"The bottom line here is safety," said Oberstar. "Mexico is making progress, but, as this report shows, the percentage of Mexican trucks put out of service because of safety deficiencies is 50 percent higher than that of US trucks. The percentage is even higher at border crossings where inspectors are not on duty at all hours the crossings are open. We need more inspectors and inspection facilities at the border to ensure unsafe trucks do not come into this country and endanger American lives."