April 9, 2015 1:00 PM, EDT

OOIDA Petitions Federal Court to Join Lawsuit Against DOT Over Mexican Truckers

Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg News

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a petition to join a lawsuit against the federal government for opening the border to Mexican longhaul carriers.

OOIDA’s April 7 petition is to join the suit filed March 10 by the Teamsters union and two public-interest safety groups in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which covers California and other Western states.

The suit contends the Department of Transportation had insufficient safety data on Mexican trucks, when in January, DOT said Mexican carriers could apply to run in the United States.

DOT said a pilot program for Mexican truckers that ended in October produced sufficient data, but the suit notes that only 13 Mexican carriers participated.

The United States agreed more than 20 years ago under the North American Free Trade Agreement to open its border to Mexican carriers, but labor groups and some safety advocates have protested with the support of allies in Congress.