Mexican Trucks Program Showing Few Trips

DOT’s Inspector General Cites Few Beyond Border Zone
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

A government report on the Department of Transportation’s program to allow Mexican trucks into the United States said that too few trips have been taken to be statistically valid.

DOT’s Inspector General’s office released the report Monday on the program, which is the subject of a congressional hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The report found that at the program’s six-month mark, fewer carriers and vehicles have participated than expected. “No reliable statistical projections regarding safety attributes can be made at this point,” it said.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has been very supportive of the program, which allows Mexican trucks to move beyond a traditional commercial border zone of about 25 miles, for access to full U.S. highways. (Click here for previous story.)

But congressional leaders, including Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) have been critical of the program, which began in September, and how DOT has been managing it. (Click here for previous story.)

Although DOT records show 3,680 crossings into the United States by project participants, only 247, or 6.7%, went beyond the commercial zone, the report said. About 89% of those went to just one state, California.

In a statement, Teamsters union criticized the program, saying it was leading to unsafe vehicles on U.S. roadways.

(Click here for previous coverage.)