The U.S. Department of Transportation will require and pay for electronic on-board recorders with global positioning system capabilities on Mexican trucks participating in the phased-in cross-border program.
During the previous pilot program, U.S. stakeholders were concerned about potential hours of service violations by Mexican carriers, according to Candice Tolliver, communications director for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The EOBR with GPS will aid in monitoring Mexican carriers, but the agency must consistently monitor these EOBR devices.
“And the best way to achieve this high level of oversight is for the United States to own the devices generating the data on Mexican carriers,” Tolliver said. “The alternative would limit FMCSA to on-site compliance reviews for obtaining safety-critical hours-of-service data.”
Congress will give its opinion on the program, but its approval is not necessary because the two nations have reached agreement, according to Mexican cabinet officials. They said they expect the first participating Mexican carrier to enter the United States in July.
Still, a Mexican embassy official has said the first crossings aren’t anticipated to take place until August or September. The two nations will sign the trucking agreement between May and June, upon conclusion of a 60-day consultation period in both countries. That period will include participation of the Teamsters union, Congress and the U.S. business sector, he said.
The DOT Office of Inspector General’s February 2009 report on the first cross-border program recommended a cost/benefit analysis on installing GPS on participating Mexican trucks. The FMCSA’s 2007 $500,000 contract with the Department of the Army was to obtain and install a GPS on participating trucks and have access to the GPS tracking system.