I have written at length on this blog about just how dangerous tractor trailers are. Those dangers only get worse when truckers and trucking companies ignore the safety rules that protect us on the highways.
Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is taking steps on a program that would seriously erode our safety. Specifically, it appears that the DOT is about to open our border with Mexico, to allow Mexican tractor trailers to travel all over the interstates and secondary roads of the United States. Not only are there serious problems regarding Mexican drivers' English language skills (which they need to read traffic signs), but Mexican drivers currently aren't forced to meet federal safety rules.
Mexican tractor trailers could begin pouring across the border as soon as September 6, 2007.
But, you can help make sure this doesn't happen. I urge you to contact both of your state's U.S. Senators, and ask them to prohibit the DOT from pushing forward on allowing trucks from Mexico to travel throughout the United States. This needs to be included in the Senate's DOT spending bill.
That is the only real way to stop the DOT's plan for unlimited Mexican tractor trailer traffic from moving forward.
To get both of your U.S. Senators' contact information, just go to www.senate.gov, and you will find a place to enter your zip code.
Why the alarm? Here's why:
Mexican truck drivers have very high out of service rates.
Mexican truck drivers on U.S. highways often operate without a drivers license.
Mexican truck drivers in the U.S. often don't have the right driver's license for their truck.
Mexican truck drivers routinely don't comply with U.S. safety rules involving hours of service logbooks and records of duty status.
Mexican trucks in the U.S. have high rates of poor brakes and lights.
Mexico does not require workplace drug and alcohol testing of truck drivers like the U.S. does.
Mexico has no enforced Hours Of Service requirements. Mexican drivers can drive for an unlimited number of hours while in Mexico. They can then drive across the border highly fatigued (which is extremely dangerous) and then keep driving for an additional 11 hours in the U.S. What's worse, there is nothing that our enforcement people can do about it! U.S. officials can't penalize a driver for actions that occurred in Mexico.
And, the list goes on. Take a few minutes today to help prevent this ridiculous practice from going forward.