The Alliance of American Insurers voiced support Nov. 29 for the congressional compromise allowing Mexican trucks greater access to the U.S. with inspection and safety requirements. The fiscal 2002 Transportation spending bill was to be ratified and sent to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as early as the next day, where it was expected to pass easily.
“It’s a real step forward in public safety. We’re pleased to see enhanced inspection requirements, although we would prefer to have inspection of 100 percent, rather than 50 percent, of the trucks crossing the border. We’ll see in the years to come how this works out. The good news is that these inspections will make American roads safer,” said Kenneth Schloman, Alliance Washington counsel.
The provisions will require on-site inspections of Mexican trucking firms seeking to operate in the U.S., followed by truck inspections every 90 days. Perhaps most importantly the Transportation Department’s inspector general must certify the government’s ability to enforce strict safety standards.
In addition to other requirements, there are mandated comprehensive safety examinations of Mexican trucking firms. Examinations will ensure drivers have clean records and are tested for drug and alcohol use. Trucking firms will be required to hold insurance with companies licensed in the U.S.
“Better safety means fewer accidents and lower insurance costs. This is good for everybody,” said Schloman.
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