Thursday, March 08, 2007

US DOT starts Mexican drivers pilot program.

Just a short note on something that is becoming real in the Asphalt Nation.

Truck drivers from Mexico will be allowed to deliver loads beyond the 25 mile limit now in place along the US/Mexican border. This is going into effect within the next 30 to 60 days.

Mexican drivers are supposed to be held to the same standards as the US/Canadian drivers.

What concerns me is will they be paid the same rates as their northern brethren?
Is Mexico making sure that their drivers are compliant with US/Canadian standards.

Section 391.11(2) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) states that:

(Drivers must show that they) Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records.

This is the one crumb in the bed that bothers me. I've seen as many as four drivers climb out of a truck made to handle two drivers. Do all these people speak english? My experience with them as been friendly and informative. However, most times one driver is the spokesman and interpreter. That's a violiation of FMCSR 391.11(2).

If the big companies that hire these drivers don't have a problem with them not speaking English will DOT?