Mexico won’t ban double tractor-trailer on roads

Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Source: FreightWaves

After more than a year of debate, Mexican lawmakers nixed an initiative that would have banned double tractor-trailers used for commercial transportation across the country.

The bill will be replaced with a measure to update technical safety details of regulation NOM-012, which governs the weights and dimensions of heavy-duty trucks traveling on roads and highways.

“Lorena Pinon announced that her initiative to reform the Federal Roads, Bridges and Motor Transport Law, which sought to eliminate the double articulated configuration, will be replaced by an update of the NOM-012,” according to a recent news release from Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR).

Pinon, a member of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, proposed the measure to ban double tractor-trailers in October 2021, with the aim of reducing traffic accidents. The Chamber of Deputies is the country’s lower house of the Congress, similar to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pinon had been pushing the initiative as a way to reduce fatal traffic accidents caused by double tractor-trailers, which she referred to as “death machines” in a news release.

Pinon and other Mexican officials said double tractor-trailers are responsible for up to 8% of traffic accidents annually.

“This legislative [body] has yet to legislate to ban double trailers, because they are death machines that also do not circulate in other countries … due to the danger they represent,” Pinon said.

Double tractor-trailers are legal in the United States and Canada. U.S. federal limits are 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, 20,000 pounds on a single axle and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. Vehicles are allowed up to seven axles, 86 feet or more between axle sets and a maximum load of 105,500 pounds.

Pinon has not released any statements as to why the proposed ban has been dropped, but CANACAR officials said they have held several meetings with her in recent weeks.

“With her participation in the Chamber of Deputies during the appearance of Jorge Nuno Lara, head of the Department of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation, Pinon highlighted the meeting she had with the CANACAR and other motor transport associations to jointly present an initiative where road safety is improved,” CANACAR said. “Lara announced that, in the coming days, an update of the NOM-012 will be carried out, with technical and mandatory measures for greater road safety for all, without [double tractor-trailer] restrictions.”

CANACAR said in a news release the proposal to ban double tractor-trailers would have had the opposite effect of promoting more road safety, since it would have required “37,100 new tractor-trailers and 106,000 [box] trucks, which would also have implications for mobility, road safety, and the environment.”


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