Court Sides with DOT on Cross-Border Trucking Program
A lawsuit brought by the Teamsters Union was recently heard in a federal court. The suit, which has to do with the amount of data collected during the three-year pilot program, was dismissed as the court ruled with the Department of Transportation.
While a cross-border trucking program with Mexican carriers was a controversial move, the court ruled that the DOT has lawful authority necessary to grant these carriers the right to operate on US soil. The ruling states that the amount of data collected during the pilot program, which was purportedly used to justify the expansion, is irrelevant to the decision-making process.
The Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association sided with the Teamsters Union, acting as an intervenor and backing the claim about a lack of data. The pilot program began in 2011 and ran through 2014, providing information about the safety of Mexican carriers.
With only 15 carriers signing up for the program, officials only had about a third of the total of 46 they’d need to make an accurate determination. The DOT claims it opened up the application process to Mexican carriers as required by the North American Free Trade Agreement. The policy $2 billion on import tariffs imposed on US exports to Mexico.
Carriers within the program must pass a safety audit prior to being authorized, and are expected to abide by US trucking regulations.
The case is one that causes many to wonder whether or not the data itself was ever offered as a condition for renewal. Many believed that this was the case, claiming that bypassing it entirely shows little concern for the results of the study and the safety of Mexican carriers operating in the US.
Others claim the tradeoff received for allowing the provision to pass will be worth it, granting carriers the ability to make more deliveries and opening receivers up in the area to more possibilities. In either cases, studies aimed at providing results on the safety of new policies are usually followed stringently.
The fact that this case seems like an exemption draws concerns from many, and it is likely the results of the study will be under examination for some time in the future.