By TruckingInfo Staff
A group of carriers that has been pushing mandatory electronic onboard recorders is crying foul when it comes to the Department of Transportation’s plan to fund the devices on Mexican trucks that will be operating in the U.S. under long-delayed aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Last week, Truckinginfo.com and other sources reported that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require Mexican trucks to use electronic onboard recorders as part of their satellite tracking systems. The systems will be paid for by FMCSA to ensure that the agency will own and control all the data they gather.
The Alliance for Driver Safety and Security was formed last year to push legislation to mandate electronic onboard recorders. The five founding companies of the Alliance were Maverick USA, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Schneider National and U.S. Xpress Enterprises.
Maverick’s Steve Williams was quoted in The Trucker as saying, “While everyone agrees that EOBRS are critical for safety … it is the height of stupidity for our government to subsidize foreign companies.”
Friday on “The Lockridge Report” on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking Channel, Alliance Director Bill Vickery explained the alliance’s position further:
“When we read the reports coming out of DOT, and we saw our government subsidizing foreign companies, there’s an inherent sense of fairness there.
“It has always been the focus of the alliance … to see an EOBR on every truck … we have dealt with this issue of cost and if it is cost-prohibitive. We know that’s not the case now. We know the technology is in place and that cost is not a real issue with these devices. Our confusion was, why subsidize these Mexican trucking companies when the cost does seem to be fairly minimal, and we know it is such a strategic tool for safety on the roads?
“I think everyone applauds the ideas that EOBRs should be on Mexican trucks; they should be on every truck. We’re talking about a fairness issue here.”
According to published reports, the Department of Transportation’s defense of its plans are that it “addresses concerns expressed by stakeholders during the previous program about the number of hours Mexican truck drivers spent operating behind the wheel.”
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