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Mexico Trucking-Trade Agreement Poses Safety Concerns

A new agreement between the United States and Mexico would lift tariffs on US goods in Mexico, in return for allowing Mexican trucks to carry freight within the US.It’s a controversial agreement, and Atlanta truck accident lawyers are concerned about the trucking safety records of Mexican companies. Truck accidents often result in serious personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

The deal was announced last month by the Department of Transportation.Already trucking safety groups have raised questions about whether Mexican trucks will be able to meet safety standards in the United States.The Teamsters Union has already made clear its concerns about trucking safety.

However, the Department of Transportation says that there is no need to worry, and that Mexican drivers will be held to the same high standards that American drivers are.According to the agency, Mexican truck drivers will be put through drug and alcohol tests to make sure that there are no intoxicated drivers on the street.Besides, the Department of Transportation will also electronically monitor truck drivers through onboard recorders.These truckers will also be held to high emission safety standards.

However, all these assurances are doing nothing to placate the concerns of Atlanta truck accident lawyers.For one thing, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s assurances about the safety of Mexican trucks have been debunked earlier.The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had released the results of studies which showed that Mexican trucks have a high 90% compliance rate with US regulations.Those studies have been criticized by the Department of Transportation Inspector General.According to the Inspector General, the research was flawed because it failed to take into consideration random border crossings.Additionally, the research failed to consider the fact that trucks built in Mexico after 1996 may not be compliant with US safety regulations.

There are also concerns about truck hijackings in Mexico.In 2010, approximately 10,000 commercial trucks were hijacked in Mexico.These trucks are hijacked by drug traffickers to transport narcotic drugs across the border.Highway safety groups are concerned about the possibility for such illegal activities, after Mexican trucks are freely allowed to ply Americanhighways.

Lawmakers are already moving to limit the implementation of the agreement.A group of lawmakers headed by Representative Peter Defazio has already written to Transportation Sec. LaHood, challenging the agreement.Legislation to limit the Department of Transportation’s implementation of the agreement has been introduced.Lawmakers are outraged that the federal administration intends to use taxpayer money to install safety devices on Mercian trucks.There are plans to install onboard recorders in Mexican trucks to make sure that drivers do not drive beyond the maximum allowed hours.However, these devices would be paid for by taxpayer money, and that is something that many lawmakers will not take kindly to.

Atlanta truck accident lawyers don’t believe that our trucking inspection and safety programs are sophisticated enough to prevent unsafe Mexican trucks from coming through the border, or even monitoring their safety while they are on American highways.