The Teamsters union has been involved in a legal battle to stop a U.S. Department of Transportation pilot program which would see trucks and truck drivers from Mexico on US roads. The Teamsters allege that the trucks are unsafe and would pose a threat on the roads. They also allege that the pilot program is illegal. The lawsuit has created quite a bit of media coverage and has many in Florida asking whether Mexican trucks would increase the risk of Miami truck accidents as well as traffic accidents across the state.
One reason that the pilot program is so controversial is because Mexican drivers, under the program, would not be mandated to meet the same physical requirements as US drivers and would not need to show proof that they adhere to safety standards. They would also not need to meet the standards established by the National Environment Policy Act. Many are concerned about this, since US drivers and trucks must meet a long list of requirements in order to drive on the roads. The Teamsters, as well as some truck drivers and carriers, are concerned that Mexican truck carriers do not need to meet these same strict guidelines when driving on US and Florida streets.
Also at issue is the safety standards of trucks allowed to drive in US roads. Some of the truck carriers from Mexico approved by the pilot program, for example, have had safety issues. The pilot program at first approved Grupo Behr, a truck carrier from Tijuana. However, the pilot program eventually withdrew that approval after it was found that the carrier had one semi-tractor trailer that was 20 years old and had safety problems. The pilot program eventually approved Transportes Olympic, another truck carrier. However, the Teamsters and other groups have expressed concerns about the safety problems possible with this carrier, as well.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), US taxes will pay for electronic On-Board Recorders with GPS for all Mexican trucks. While this may make it easier to keep track of any trucks from Mexico involved in accidents on the US border, some groups are upset, since US truck carriers must pay for these devices out of pocket. US taxes will also pay for muffler replacements on some older Mexican trucks, to ensure the safety of US air quality.
Despite the concerns, the first trucks from Mexico were allowed to enter the US on October 2011. Canadian trucks have been allowed on US roads for some time. So far, it is not known how any Miami car accidents involving Mexican trucks might be handled. Such cases may necessarily be more complicated, since victims would need to pursue carriers and drivers across the border. Since Miami is a major port and business center in the US, it does see quite a bit of truck traffic. So far, it is not known how the approval of Mexican trucks in the US would impact Miami traffic accident rates, if at all.
If you have been involved in a Miami truck accident, you may want to consult with a qualified Florida truck accident attorney to understand your rights and options. You can contact the Flaxman Law Group in the Miami area to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Call today to speak with the compassionate and experienced staff at the Flaxman Legal Group.