Mexican Truckers Granted Use of Texas Highways
Beginning on September 6, 2007, freight trucks from Mexico have been permitted to enter the United States and travel all through the country. This is because the U.S. Department of Transportation began giving out truck operating permits to trucking companies from Mexico. A few are afraid of this decision by the U.S. Government to permit these new trucks on U.S. Highways, while some others are not worried. This brand new rule to permit truckers from Mexico to operate their vehicles deep into the nation’s interior still faces some legal challenges. In fact, Mexican trucks have not been allowed to operate deep into the country since the rules changed in 1982. Critics argue that this experiment which tests our free trade agreement with Mexico will permit numerous trucks onto American roads. Critics say it would increase drug smuggling and illegal immigration and even increases our exposure to terrorists and create dangers for others on the roads.
Opening our Mexican border to Mexican trucks was a central element of the North American Free Trade Agreement ratified in 1994. These trucks were intended to start delivering cargo internationally seven years ago. The terms of the trade pact provide that certified Mexican trucks may haul cargo loads to anywhere in the United States but can only pick up loads if they are headed directly back to Mexico. The converse has been applied to U.S. trucks. Before 1982, that was the arrangement. Since 1982, Mexican tagged trucks have only operated near the border inside a 25-mile wide commercial zone. In that zone, they transfer their loads to U.S. registered trucks. In the last year, there were at least 4.5 million crossings by trucks over the border, mostly into Texas using the border towns of El Paso, Eagle Pass, McAllen and Laredo.
The treaty provision opening United States roads to Mexican trucks with long haul loads was mandated by NAFTA, but resistance by some environmental groups and trucking companies and associations delayed its implementation. Now, under a new program, at least 100 trucking companies based in Mexico, after vetting by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are permitted to travel well past the 25-mile limited border zone. As an additional provision of the treaty NAFTA permits American truck companies to drive, pick up and drop off loads anywhere in Mexico.
In 2006, at least 3.2 million heavy trucks drove across the border with Mexico through Texas, per the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. These rulings and new rules may well result in Mexican truckers getting in more accidents in Texas.
Have you been in an accident with a Mexican registered truck? At Carabin Shaw, we are familiar with the new legal wrinkles which NAFTA and foreign registered trucks create. We are ready to help you collect all the damages that are legally collectable, wherever the truck is registered.
We are waiting for your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Initial consultations in injury cases are always free and at no obligation to you.
Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?
The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.