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U.S. federal auditors criticize DOT on Mexican trucking issue

The U.S. General Accounting Office, in a study released this week, says that the Department of Transportation lacks both an effective plan and the facilities to ensure compliance of Mexican trucks operating in the United States with American safety and environmental standards.

“The United States [government] and most U.S. border states are not prepared to ensure that Mexican commercial carriers meet U.S. safety standards,” the GAO wrote in the study.

The DOT, in comments on the draft GAO report, countered that its efforts to beef up border-safety inspections are well advanced.

Auditors said that the department’s preparations for the border opening were insufficient, and noted that it criticized the Department of Transportation for the same failures in two earlier reports.

Federal regulators have not obtained permanent space for inspections of Mexican big rigs, which is crucial for conducting regular, rigorous inspections, the GAO said. Instead, federal officials are using space provided by the U.S. Customs Service.