Despite the persuasive arguments given by OOIDA, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Public Citizen, the U.S. District Court of the D.C. Circuit rejected a pair of petitions filed by the groups which called for a review of the US-Mexico cross-border trucking program.
OOIDA and the Teamsters had originally filed two separate petitions, but the cases were joined and were heard starting in December of 2012. OOIDA’s original petition asked the court to “enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part) or determine the validity of the implementation of (DOT’s cross-border program).” It goes on saying: “Implementation of the pilot program is arbitrary, capricious and abuse of discretion and otherwise not in accordance with law.”
Both organizations object to the cross-border programs because the safety and compliance standards for commercial motor vehicles and their drivers in Mexico are not as strict as the standards in the United States. The judge ruled however that the Mexican medical standards “would provide a level of safety at least equivalent to the American standards taken as a whole.”
Paul Cullen Jr., an attorney with The Cullen Law Firm, OOIDA’s litigation counsel, further explained the ruling: “The court has apparently read laws passed by Congress intended to establish greater safeguards to ensure Mexican truckers comply with U.S. laws and safety standards and construed to them to give FMCSA authority to accept less than full compliance with U.S. safety laws by Mexican truckers.”
“This whole program is a slap in the face to U.S. drivers that go to great lengths to comply with an ever-tightening regulatory noose,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “If safety were truly a priority, standards would be held high on both sides of the border.”