Currently, the Federal Government limits the areas in which trucking companies located abroad may travel within the United States. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recently begun a trial program allowing tractor trailers coming from outside the United States to travel without restrictions within the United States, including, of course, Maryland.
Why does this concern us? Because trucking companies located outside our borders are not subject to same safety regulations as trucking companies located in the United States. For example, American truck drivers are subject to limitations on the number of hours they may work per week, drug and alcohol testing, and commercial driver’s license requirements (CDL) before they are allowed to drive on the nation’s highways. In addition, American motor carriers are required to maintain certain levels of insurance to protect injured motorists.
The Federal Government has not published plans to require foreign trucking companies to comply with the federal regulations. We respectfully suggest that Congress take action to stop this trial program before the federal standards are watered down. If the federal rules and regulations are weakened, it seems clear that a greater number of injuries will follow to those who drive on this nation’s roadways.
It should be noted that on September 9, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 6630 (H.R. 6630) in an effort to address issues like the ones raised above. The resolution has not been addressed by the U.S. Senate.