A recently-released audit by the federal government revealed that some Mexican passenger buses are not being inspected when they enter the U.S. This was said to be because they cross the border on evenings and weekends. During those times there are no inspectors on duty or the crossings lack safe places for inspections. Daily bus inspections were not being conducted at border crossings at Calexico and San Ysidro in California and Laredo and McAllen-Hidalgo Bridge in Texas, the Transportation Department’s Inspector General’s office said in its report.
At the San Ysidro and Laredo crossings, bus inspections were being carried out on the road’s shoulder within inches of moving passenger buses, according to the report. It was stated in the report: “These constraints lessen the impact border inspections have as a deterrent to unsafe buses entering the United States.”
As we have written previously, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) granted U.S. road access to Mexican trucks and buses. But Congress delayed their travel further into this country by first requiring that certain safety measures be in place. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, which oversees safety monitoring for Mexican trucks and buses, agreed with all recommendations made by the Inspector General’s office. The association said in a written response to the audit that it was working with Customs and Border Protection to improve space for bus inspections.
The report also said some states are not consistently reporting traffic convictions of people driving in the U.S. with Mexican driver’s licenses. This appears to be a widespread problem. The report said that delayed reporting or non-reporting of convictions could lead to Mexican federal commercial driver’s license holders continuing to drive in the U.S. despite the traffic conviction. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association “the lower conviction reporting could be attributed to law enforcement budget cuts, court noncompliance and drops in commercial driving because of the economic slump.” Regardless, both the federal and state governments must make sure that the problems reported as a result of the audit are corrected.
Source: Claims Journal
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