NAFTA Trucking Regulations

What Is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted in 1994 and is currently the world's largest free trade area. It connects 450 million people and $17 trillion worth of goods and services throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Under NAFTA regulations, buses and trucks that cross over the borders into the U.S. must follow certain rules and abide by safety standards to prevent future accidents and injuries from occurring.

For drivers crossing the border from Mexico to the United States, their vehicle must have a distinctive USDOT number, undergo extreme safety inspections and monitoring during an 18 month long provisional period, and provide additional certifications during the application process. Furthermore, there are specific locations that a driver of a commercial truck can pass through to enter into the United States and a certified motor carrier safety inspector must be on duty at the time.

When a trucker does not meet these guidelines and causes an accident, they may be held liable for damages. In some cases, the fault can be traced back to employer negligence, such as in a case where an employer knowingly puts an unqualified driver behind the wheel. If you have been involved in a truck accident and believe it has been caused due to employer negligence or truck driver negligence, call our Houston truck accident attorney today.

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NAFTA Regulations for Mexican Trucks & Buses

Recently, the U.S. implemented provisions related to southern border trucks crossing under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, these provisions were implemented to encourage trade in North America while promoting strict safety standards and rigorous safety regimes. This way, buses, trucks, and operators from Mexico are held to the same safety standards as the rest of motor vehicles in the United States.

Under these provisions, Mexican commercial vehicles can only cross the U.S. border at specific points. If a certified motor carrier safety inspector is not on duty, the vehicle will not be allowed to enter the U.S. Mexican carriers must also have USDOT numbers. Additionally, their vehicles must pass safety inspections and be monitored for an 18-month probationary period during the application process. Mexican carriers must meet drug and alcohol testing requirements, as well as have legitimate U.S. insurance. All requirements must be verified by a safety audit inspector before the carrier enters the U.S. or is allowed to operate. FMCSA provides Mexican carriers with technical assistance and educational aid before admittance to operate on U.S. roads.

These rules also meet the regulations delineated in the Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, signed by President Bush in 2001. Other documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explain rules and procedures that manufacturers must follow in order to retrofit large commercial vehicles certification labels. This document complements the proposal given by the FMCSA regarding buses, trucks, and certification labels.

Contact Arnold & Itkin If Your Case Involves NAFTA Regulations

Depending on the circumstance, your case may involve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These regulations influence personal injury and wrongful death cases that involve trucks and other commercial vehicles. At the firm, we believe negligent and careless individuals should be held responsible for their actions.

Our truck accident lawyers from Arnold & Itkin can help you protect your legal rights. Call us now!

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