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Pre-authorization safety audits for big rigs from Mexico

Before the pilot program being pushed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can become a reality - the one that would allow big rigs from Mexico to operate on U.S. roadways - the Department of Transportation wants the FMCSA to do more work.

This work mainly centers on the prevention of big rig crashes, including pre-authorization safety audits conducted by U.S. inspectors on the Mexican side of the border and provisions for electronic onboard recorders.

Electronic onboard recorders would monitor truck drivers to ensure that they were complying with the hours-of-service requirements that limit time spent behind the wheel.

The pilot program, however, is not without its significant obstacles. As Oliver B. Patton reports for Heavy Duty Trucking, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association brought a lawsuit against the FMCSA against the pilot program. And some Congressional lawmakers want to curb some parts of the program.

As Patton reports, the FMCSA's Anne Ferro hopes to get a report to Congress on the safety audits and onboard recorders by the end of September.

Source: Heavy Duty Trucking, "FMCSA Still Working on Mexico Pilot Details," by Oliver B. Patton, 09/09/11

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