Transportation Topics Online reported the following today:

The Transportation Department needs tighter controls on Mexican truck and bus drivers with driving convictions and greater ability to inspect vehicles at the border, DOT’s inspector general’s office said Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

The IG’s office released its assessment of the U.S. readiness to open its border to Mexican trucks, just as DOT prepares to begin a one-year pilot program to give some Mexican trucking companies and drivers open access to U.S. roads, Bloomberg reported.

The improvements “are needed more urgently than ever because Mexican motor carriers may be granted long-haul authority in the near future,”’ Rebecca Anne Batts, acting assistant inspector general for surface and maritime programs, said in the report, Bloomberg reported.

On Friday, DOT said it planned to start the pilot program, involving as many as 100 Mexican trucking companies, as soon as Mexico is ready to reciprocate on access to roads.

The House voted overwhelmingly in July to put restrictions on the program, which was announced in February by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.

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