RE: Mexican Trucks in the U.S.

Recently, at the public school in Arizona where my three daughters attend, I was told by one of the school bus drivers that there was a shortage of drivers making it difficult for the current drivers to take time off. Being retired, I considered making myself available as a part time driver. But I was told that first I would have to obtain a CDL (commercial drivers license).

After going to the DMV and getting a CDL manual listing the requirements, I realized why there are not as many commercially licensed drivers as I expected -- studying and passing the CDL exam is not that easy.

A medical exam following federal guidelines is required to be performed by a certified physician.

In order to pass the written test, it is necessary to study the state CDL manual. While all states have their own CDL requirements, they must all meet the minimum standards put forth in the 187 page federal manual put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Finally, the CDL applicant must take a driving test in the type of vehicle he/she will be certified to drive (for example: an 18 wheel rig.

Hearing about how President George W. Bush is about to open our U.S. highway floodgates to unrestricted Mexican trucking, I wondered if Mexican truck drivers had to be certified by U.S. examiners to be held to the same standards as American truck drivers. After extensive research I could not find any evidence that they did.
I phoned the U.S. Department of Transportation (Safety Standards) and spoke to Melissa Mazzella DeLaney. DeLaney told me that Mexican truck drivers don't have to be certified in the U.S. but must be certified in Mexico. The USDOT accepts the Mexican certification to be in compliance with the U.S. requirements. She further stated that U.S. inspectors and auditors do on-site audits in Mexico in accordance to the USDOT.

But other than assurances from Mexican trucking companies, there will be no way for U.S. authorities to verify first hand, Mexican documents presented to authorities in the U.S. This reciprocity will amount to a boon to the fake document industry in both the U.S. and Mexico which will fraudulently supply fake documents to thousands of dangerously unqualified Mexican truck drivers who will drive on our highways -- not to mention that this is also bad news for environmentalist states like California which go to great lengths with smog checks, bans on smoking outdoors, etc., all of which will be pointless when fleets of unregulated Mexican trucks belch out whatever noxious fumes their owners find profitable.

And the drug cartels, human smuggling cartels, and terrorists, who will also make good use of our national highways are right now celebrating George Bush's stupidity.