Americans who drive daily on U.S. highways are very concerned about safety when Mexican trucks are added to the many U.S. trucks already on our roads. The U.S-Mexico agreement requires us to accept Mexican commercial driver licenses, but Mexico has no real system of driver licensing, training, drug testing, physical requirements, truck safety inspection or brake standards that match U.S. rules.
Mexico cannot produce records of drivers' accidents or drug, alcohol use or a truck's record of brake safety or emissions. Also, Mexico is a country where bribes are the customary method of bypassing regulations.
George W. Bush's Transportation Secretary Mary Peters admitted at a Senate hearing that the U.S. regularly checks "proficient in English" when Mexican drivers answer questions and explain U.S. traffic signs in Spanish. Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., was so incredulous at this reply that he had her repeat it, which she did.
The LaHood-Mexican agreement pretends to address this prevarication, stating that the exams are to be conducted orally in English. However, the agreement does not specify that the Mexican driver must speak English when he responds and explains U.S. laws and signs.
Even though Obama is a big advocate of clean air and green jobs, there is no mention in the agreement that Mexican trucks should adhere to the environmental standards imposed on American trucks. Juan Carlos Mu?oz, president of Mexico's National Chamber of Motor Transport of Freight, said that Mexican companies "do not have sufficient capacity to supply the diesel suitable for these new technologies," and that, if held to these requirements, Mexican truckers would be unable to "ever enter the United States, at least not for the next 20 years."
The reciprocal promise to allow U.S. trucks to drive into Mexico doesn't pass the laugh test. A U.S. trucker would be taking his life into his hands if he drove his truck into northern Mexico, where he would become a target to be robbed and killed by the Mexican drug cartels.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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